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Best Books on Taxes & Estate Planning
Old 03-08-2008, 08:32 AM   #1
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Best Books on Taxes & Estate Planning

I am very comfortable with investing, retirement needs & expenses and, the non-monetary aspects of retirement. However, I suspect I am not as savvy as I should be on tax strategies (probably paying more than I legally have to), retirement withdrawal strategy or estate planning. What are the best books or other resources on these topics? I am still working so the tax question is the most pressing, the other two are for planning. Thanks...
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:52 AM   #2
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you will find a ton of estate planning articles at AARP: Health, Travel, Financial Planning, Family, Games, Volunteer, Retirement, Discounts for 50+, Boomers, Seniors. AARP also puts out a book called "crash course in estate planning". see
http://www.aarpmagazine.org/books/bo..._planning.html for book
see
AARP: Search Results for "estate planning" for a list of est plan resources at AARP.
your state online lelgal library should also have laws governing est plan. if you can't find it easily, Cornell University has a neat law library online. see Cornell Law Library - Legal Research Engine it's a bit more formal, but you can find some good stuff here without any editorializing.

good luck!
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:46 AM   #3
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I haven't actually read this book but I have read others in both the Dummy & Idiots series and they have generally been quite good. Perhaps they have books related to the other topics also. You could probably borrow from the local library.
Amazon.com: Taxes 2007 For Dummies (Taxes for Dummies): Eric Tyson,Margaret A. Munro,David J. Silverman: Books
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:50 AM   #4
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For estate planning I like "Plan Your Estate" by Denis Clifford and Cora Johnson, and published by NOLO Press. NOLO has several books on the subject Estate Planning.

(BTW, NOLO's prices are cheaper than Amazon )
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
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This thread talks about Ed Slott. He has a program currently running on PBS which I'm in the process of watching. He addresses estate planning especially around IRAs (and other tax deferred accounts).

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ood-33613.html
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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I just finished watching the Ed Slott show and here's a summary.

By IRA below, I mean any tax-deferred plan.

His points
a) Make sure you have the right beneficiaries for your IRA. Make sure it is current
b) Consider leaving your IRA to your grandchildren since the RMDs are much lower for people with a longer expected lifespan. This is the basis of his "Stay Rich forever and ever" statement.
c) Consider leaving portions of your estate (up to $2M) to someone other than your spouse in order to leverage the estate tax exemption to the fullest. You are each able to take a $2M exemption on estate taxes, but if you just let your spouse inherit it all, you'll end up with only a single $2M exemption when he/she passes on. Obviously, your spouse needs to be able to survive on what's left.
d) Use life insurance as a way to pay your estate tax and leave money to your heirs tax free. His take - it may be more beneficial to take an IRA distribution, pay the income tax, and use that money to buy life insurance, than to leave it in the IRA and have your beneficiaries pay double taxes (estate + insurance). This last piece as the most informative part of the program for me.
e) Spend your money on your beneficiaries while you're still alive to enjoy it with them. As he asks "Isn't it better to give with warm hands than cold ones?"
f) Act now. He had a good question for the audience. "Five frogs on a log and 3 decide to jump. How many left on the log?"
Five. They only decided to jump.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:17 AM   #7
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Ditto the Nolo press recommendation. I used their estate planning book to write wills and set up a family trust for our kids (should we, heaven forbid, kick the bucket when they're still tykes). The newer versions have a CD-ROM in the back with all the forms you'll need.

I got mine out of the library.

Cost: free

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Old 03-09-2008, 11:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
I just finished watching the Ed Slott show and here's a summary.

By IRA below, I mean any tax-deferred plan.

His points
a) Make sure you have the right beneficiaries for your IRA. Make sure it is current
b) Consider leaving your IRA to your grandchildren since the RMDs are much lower for people with a longer expected lifespan. This is the basis of his "Stay Rich forever and ever" statement.
c) Consider leaving portions of your estate (up to $2M) to someone other than your spouse in order to leverage the estate tax exemption to the fullest. You are each able to take a $2M exemption on estate taxes, but if you just let your spouse inherit it all, you'll end up with only a single $2M exemption when he/she passes on. Obviously, your spouse needs to be able to survive on what's left.
d) Use life insurance as a way to pay your estate tax and leave money to your heirs tax free. His take - it may be more beneficial to take an IRA distribution, pay the income tax, and use that money to buy life insurance, than to leave it in the IRA and have your beneficiaries pay double taxes (estate + insurance). This last piece as the most informative part of the program for me.
e) Spend your money on your beneficiaries while you're still alive to enjoy it with them. As he asks "Isn't it better to give with warm hands than cold ones?"
f) Act now. He had a good question for the audience. "Five frogs on a log and 3 decide to jump. How many left on the log?"
Five. They only decided to jump.

Good points. I would modify "c" to say that you can leave the money in a bypass trust so that your spouse can use the income from the trust. Your estate still has the advantage of taking the estate tax exemption yet your spouse still have use of distributions from the trust.
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