Official Review: Do I Need a Will or a Trust

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EvaDar
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Official Review: Do I Need a Will or a Trust

Post by EvaDar » 23 Jul 2019, 22:07

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Do I Need a Will or a Trust" by Taylor Willingham.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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If you’re thinking you’ll do some estate planning when—fill in the blank—you might want to read attorney Taylor Phillip Willingham’s latest book. Do I Need a Will or a Trust? explores the circumstances that call for each document and the importance of understanding the difference. Willingham states simply that only some people need a trust, but everyone needs a will. The question is: Do you need a trust?

Both documents facilitate distribution of your property when you die, but the similarity ends there. A will activates after you die; a trust takes effect the moment it is created and can serve many purposes. Trusts cost more than wills and can address more complicated circumstances, usually involving protecting one entity from another. Protecting the spouse from the kids (or vice versa), the kids from creditors, or yourself from your older self are some common examples. If your son spends recklessly, a trust can outline the circumstances under which he will receive the inheritance. The ability to avoid lengthy probate is also a common benefit of trusts. The author provides dozens of examples of these scenarios that call for a trust over a will.

To assist the reader’s understanding of complex concepts, the author employs footnotes, diagrams, and glossaries, including a handy flowchart to help readers decide which document they need. Most of Willingham’s language is accessible, considering the legal nature, though I did Google a few confusing concepts.

I enjoyed the cautionary anecdotes illustrating the importance of adequate planning. From the widow who lost her inheritance when her late husband’s secret love child arrived, to the man whose surviving spouse disinherited his children after he died, scary possibilities abound. The author emphasizes the importance of planning for blended families. He describes seemingly endless risks in this realm and strongly recommends a trust.

Willingham’s content is strong, and he packs this relatively short book (175 pages) with expert advice. The presentation is where some problems emerge. The layout and formatting are rough, with widowed and orphaned lines, and inconsistent—or nonexistent—margins around figures and photos. The top of each page contains a colorful, slightly off-center graphic that resembles a confetti puffball. It slightly obscures the first line of text just enough to be distracting. A more understated graphic would be cleaner. While the book appears to be edited for content, I found quite a few punctuation errors.

The dedication that kicks off the book warrants mentioning. Directed toward a woman who gave the author a bad review, the comment implies that the woman’s criticism reflected her incompetence rather than Willingham’s messaging. I don’t know why the author chose this self-important comment to lead off the book. It’s a bad way to kick off a good book, and it influenced my overall impression of the author. I encourage a different choice in subsequent editions.

Given Taylor Phillip Willingham’s comprehensive treatment of the subject matter, along with the formatting and layout problems, I award Do I Need a Will or a Trust? 3 out of 4 stars. If your will is already tucked away in a firebox, you might still consult this book to see if a trust would be indicated instead. Adults in any phase of estate planning will benefit from what this author has to say. What he doesn’t say is to go ahead and wait until you have the time or money, or until you have kids, or until you have overcome your fear of death. The best time to start planning is before you think you need to. This book is a good start.

******
Do I Need a Will or a Trust
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Michelle Fred
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Post by Michelle Fred » 01 Aug 2019, 08:18

This review met me well. Perhaps it's providence, just the other day, I thought of contacting a lawyer for the exact same topics addressed by this book. I know I have to grab a copy. Thanks for a detailed review.

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EvaDar
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Post by EvaDar » 01 Aug 2019, 10:10

Michelle Fred wrote: ↑
01 Aug 2019, 08:18
This review met me well. Perhaps it's providence, just the other day, I thought of contacting a lawyer for the exact same topics addressed by this book. I know I have to grab a copy. Thanks for a detailed review.
I'm glad the timing is right for you. It definitely takes encouragement to look at these things. Thanks for dropping by. Enjoy the book!
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That is when it is most important.
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Post by kandscreeley » 01 Aug 2019, 10:18

It sounds like this one is quite informative and would be very useful. I know I need to create a will myself, but I have no need for a trust. Thanks so much for the review.
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Post by Jahswill_1 » 01 Aug 2019, 12:42

This review jolted me! I have a daughter I love so much, that I can not help but continue thinking what will happen to her if I pass on without adequate planning?

Despite the formatting issues noticed, I am considering reading this book soon.

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Post by Gathoni1991 » 01 Aug 2019, 13:39

I love informative books with an expert touch to them. I would definitely love to read this one. Thank for the heads up.

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Post by EvaDar » 02 Aug 2019, 00:37

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
01 Aug 2019, 10:18
It sounds like this one is quite informative and would be very useful. I know I need to create a will myself, but I have no need for a trust. Thanks so much for the review.
Thanks for stopping in. I needed to review my plans and make some changes and the book has put a nickel in that. I appreciate your comments.
When I am afraid to speak is when I speak.
That is when it is most important.
-Nayyirah Waheed

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EvaDar
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Post by EvaDar » 02 Aug 2019, 00:39

Jahswill_1 wrote: ↑
01 Aug 2019, 12:42
This review jolted me! I have a daughter I love so much, that I can not help but continue thinking what will happen to her if I pass on without adequate planning?

Despite the formatting issues noticed, I am considering reading this book soon.
Thanks for your comments. Estate planning is such an easy thing to avoid! Enjoy the book if you pick it up. I appreciate you stopping in.
When I am afraid to speak is when I speak.
That is when it is most important.
-Nayyirah Waheed

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EvaDar
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Post by EvaDar » 02 Aug 2019, 00:39

Gathoni1991 wrote: ↑
01 Aug 2019, 13:39
I love informative books with an expert touch to them. I would definitely love to read this one. Thank for the heads up.
Yeah. This is a good one. Thanks so much for stopping in.
When I am afraid to speak is when I speak.
That is when it is most important.
-Nayyirah Waheed

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 02 Aug 2019, 16:19

The horror stories alone make this subject well worth considering! Thanks for your informative review.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 04 Aug 2019, 17:13

It seems you need a trust if there's someone in your life that you can't trust. I don't have much of earthly assets, so I may not need either a will or a trust.

Thanks for a terrific review of this potential C/T/M/H book.

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Post by Kelyn » 05 Aug 2019, 13:42

I've been thinking that I need to write a will. I don't think I need a trust. It's good to know there's a book out there to help. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 06 Aug 2019, 00:30

This sounds an informative book about legal issues related to state planning. However, formatting issues that you mentioned are worth-considering. Great review.
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Post by Ekta Swarnkar » 06 Aug 2019, 00:56

I think this topic can make a person do a lot of thinking or he can simply read the book. I'm astonished at how efficient a review can be. I'm definitely learning.

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Post by cheryl_burke » 06 Aug 2019, 03:07

It seems you need will not trust if there's someone in your life that you can trust.

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