Book Review: The Complete Guide to Creating Your Own Living Trust

The Complete Guide to Creating Your Own Living Trust: A Step-by-step Plan to Protect Your Assets, Limit Your Taxes, and Ensure Your Wishes are Fulfilled

By Steven D. Fisher

Published April 2008

Atlantic Publishing Company

288 pp.

ISBN 1-601-38113-2

Reviewed September 15, 2008

In economic times such as these, securing your assets is quickly turning from a good idea to absolutely crucial, as the odds are growing it can all go away between the taxman and rising expenses. One of the more viable options, aptly covered by Steven D. Fisher in his book “The Complete Guide to Creating Your Own Living Trust” is to set that property into a living trust – a legal arrangement that sets property aside to be managed for another’s benefit, with a good share of tax benefits connected.

Trusts can be complex issues, so Fisher keeps the book in order by dividing the sections into concise and readable chapters that answer the main questions you may have if you want to open a trust. He gives the rundown on trusts for (among others) single people, couples, families, the especially wealthy and those who would like to give to charity, setting each one up so the relevant information is easy to find. The book concludes with genuinely practical information, such as a rundown on living trust scams and sample forms to give you a more personal picture of what a living trust agreement will look like.

The strongest part of this book is its accessibility. He lets you know right away if this book is for you (for example, someone young and unmarried like me shouldn’t consider a trust) and walks you through each of the appropriate terms with the acceptance that you may not know any of this to begin with. None of the text is bogged down in enough legalese to be inaccessible, and while some of the information seems excessive– an early section on taxes slows the book considerably – but none of it is ever beyond understanding.

I would certainly not advise anyone to set up a trust without consulting an attorney, but “The Complete Guide to Creating Your Own Living Trust” ensures you will know what you are talking about when you begin the process. Anyone who has a large amount of property and wants to make sure the government doesn’t take the lion’s share of it would be wise to review it, at the very least to see if a trust is the right idea.

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