Author: Kathleen Lane & Christine Hughes
ISBN: 978-0982123003
Publisher: nFormed

Click Here To Purchase Die Smart: 11 Mistakes That Cost Your Family When You Die: Probate, Living Trusts, Power of Attorney (And More) (Volume 1)

Die $mart, tackles the question that all of us face at some point in time; how to leave the greatest amount of what you have worked for throughout your life to your loved ones when you leave this earth. Not the most pleasant thought but then, not everything about life need be pleasant. What is needed though is a plan, a plan as to how you can avoid given a large percentage of your net worth to the tax man and/or lawyers and administrative nightmares.

The book is organized into ten major mistakes that you definitely want to avoid and at the end of each chapter, there’s “bottom line” section that gives it to you straight – here’s what it could cost you by not acting and, here are the main bullet points that the chapter covered.

Speaking of the chapters, they are broad in scope. The most surprising dealt with the concept of long term assisted living. The numbers there are staggering. The author cites statistics that some 80% of the population will not die a sudden death, but instead a longer and slower death that has significant implications in terms of cost and legalities. “If only we had known” seems to be the reoccurring theme through this title – if only you had known that in most states a financial power of attorney does not permit language for you to manage health care to a loved one who has lost the ability to communicate. If only you had known that you needed a Health Care Power of Attorney document to give your loved one the authority to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. If only you had known …

For a book of roughly 225 pages, there is a tremendous amount of material. From probate (the act of the state stepping in to “protect” your beneficiaries and debt holders upon your death and all the necessary fees associated with the process)  to estate taxes (how much you owe Uncle Sam assuming your net worth is greater than your personal exemption amount), the depth and breath of coverage is quite remarkable. The book is quite readable by the layman even though it tackles difficult and very legal materials. A glossary is provided, along with step-by-step instructions and web site links to needed forms. The sum total of the approach enables you to take action and prevent unneeded costs and emotional pain if and when future events dictate.  

If I have one criticism, it would be that an index was not provided. I find indexes quite useful and the absence of that in, what was otherwise a well organized and presented book, an interesting omission to say the least. Maybe that will be corrected in a future edition.

In summary, it is difficult enough to suffer the emotional and physical drain required to care for someone that is dear to you. The same is true of a loved one’s death. Unfortunately, death is not an escapable event. There is nothing one can do about that event. In our normal day-to-day lives, we typically do not plan for death or incapacitation. If you read this book, however, that will change. It will both show and enable you to not only die smart, but to ease the pain for those you love.

For most, Die $mart is probably all you need to properly prepare for the eventuality of your passing. For those with more complicated matters, it certainly provides you with the ideas and materials needed to more intelligently discuss what is needed with your legal representatives. As such, I would strongly recommend this book to all.

 Click Here To Purchase Die Smart: 11 Mistakes That Cost Your Family When You Die: Probate, Living Trusts, Power of Attorney (And More) (Volume 1)