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Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! Paperback – Dec 11 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Wise Circle Books (Dec 11 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615328865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615328867
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #373,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 11 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Very entertaining with a little education thrown in June 5 2010
By Dale C. Maley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It must be human nature for us to not want to face the fact we are all going to die someday. Depending on the survey, huge percentages of Americans die without a will.

Back around the year 2000, I decided to investigate estate planning and make sure I had an optimum estate plan in place. We got our first will as soon as our first child was born....so I had some familiarity with simple wills. I bought about 4 books on estate planning. Most of these books were a tough read because the subject is not exciting, and estate law is an arcane specialty area of the law anyway. The most helpful book I found was The 60-Minute Estate Planner. I found it the best because of the graphical diagrams showing how the money flowed after each marital partner passed away. I sought out an experienced estate planning attorney who only did estate planning. He set up marital bypass trusts for each of us. I then did all the paperwork for transferring assets to the trusts and the lawyer reviewed them for correctness before I executed them. I then re-titled the assets and updated the beneficiary forms to fund the trusts.

I bought this book with the expectation of being entertained by the stories of wealthy people without wills. Since I had previously researched estate planning, and was familiar with executing both wills and bypass trusts....I did not expect to learn much about estate planning from the book.

This book fulfilled my expectation for being entertained. I enjoyed reading the tales of famous people who had no wills. Coming from Central Illinois, farming country, I particularly enjoyed the Canadian farmer story. Seems he left for the field on his tractor and told his wife he would be back by 10 pm. He had an accident on the tractor and his legs were pinned. When he didn't come home by 10pm, his wife got some neighbors and went to look for him. They found his legs pinned by the tractor and rushed him to the hospital. He died soon after. When the neighbors went out in daylight to retrieve the tractor, they found he had used his pocketknife to scribe something like......I leave it all to my wife...then his initials. The judge ruled his inscription was a valid will.......but each will must be filed in the courthouse. He ordered the inscribed portion of the tractor to be sawn off and brought to the courthouse. It was sawn off and is now in a Canadian museum.

I actually learned a few things about estate planning in this book. I was not aware of `the terror clause" to prevent your heirs from battling over your estate. I also liked the grandfather's trust where every April after his death, his trust would match the grandchild's income shown on the grandchild's tax return. The grandfather wanted to try to instill the value of hard work onto his grandchildren.

I would suggest reading this book as an entertaining introduction to estate planning. Then read The 60-minute Estate Planner and review the graphical explanations of trusts. The AARP Crash Course in Estate Planning is also a helpful book. Then visit an attorney who specializes in only estate planning to set-up your estate plan. If you are going to set up trusts, have the lawyer help you fund the trust including filling out beneficiary forms correctly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Has wide appeal, and is highly recommended Jan. 10 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
You can't take it with you, so where does it go? "Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! ...And What You Can Learn From Celebrity Errors" looks at the inheritance game and what has spilled out from the deaths of pop culture icons and who takes on their legacy... and the pile of money that comes with it. A legal advice book primarily, it reads intriguingly for those who love an entertaining courtroom drama tied in with celebrity drama. "Trial & Heirs" has wide appeal, and is highly recommended.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Frank Sinatra did it right. Marlon Brando...No. April 1 2010
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an amiable guide that is not so much about how to write a will, as to why you should have a good, legal, up-to-date one in the first place. Estate planning is not a subject many of us like to dwell upon, but the authors serve up their medicine with a large spoonful of sugar. We get a front-row view of some infamous brangles over wills, or the lack of a will.

One of the most interesting, for me, was Chief Justice Burger's 176-word will (I wish the authors had printed it). You'd think a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court would get it right, but "the family of the late Chief Justice was forced to spend thousands of dollars extra in probate court" just to clarify his last testament.

"Trial & Heirs" might even make you a little paranoid--"Are my relatives going to behave like that when I pass on?" you ask yourself. The actual amount you leave behind doesn't seem to matter to some people. They'll argue over pennies. Frank Sinatra added "a very detailed 'No Contest clause' (also called [a] 'terror clause') in his will" just so that anyone who contested his will would be completely disinherited.

The 'Terror Clause' could be very appropriate if you've been married more than once, and might leave multiple spouses and/or ex-spouses behind when you pass on.

Incidentally, most of the chapters in this book include a section headed "Avoid a family fight!"

And don't end up like the farmer, who waited until the last minute to make out his will. His neighbors discovered it scratched onto the fender of his tractor with his pocket knife.

The farmer was under the tractor.

"Trial & Heirs" is a useful and interesting book. You might think at first that the authors are tooting their own legal horns, but if you're like me you'll be: (1) convinced of their sincere good intentions; (2) impressed by their legal acumen; (3) convinced to write or update your will, thus benefiting from the mistakes of deceased, whom the authors use as examples, many of them quite rich and famous (one of my most common exclamations while reading this book was: "I didn't know he/she was dead!")

***review copy supplied by authors
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Trial & Heirs Dec 10 2009
By Sal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read! Fantastic important information delivered in an entertaining, easy-to-read book. Every family should have a copy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining and Informative March 25 2012
By Paul Caspersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For anyone who writes on the topic of estate planning, it's challenging to keep the general audiences attention as you dive into the complexities. The authors utilize the stories of deceased celebrities in a very positive way to educate and inform the readers on mistakes anyone can make in the estate planning process. The size of a celebrities estate vs. the general public generally doesn't make a difference since these mistakes in estate planning don't matter based upon the magnitude of wealth. Very interesting read for anyone who wants to learn more about estate planning.
Direction Memo(TM): How to Write a Letter of Instructions for Your Estate Plan
Paul Caspersen, author of the book "Direction Memo(tm): How to Write a Letter of Instructions for Your Estate Plan."


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