By Michael A. Valles
Published July 2008
Reviewed September 15, 2008
“You can’t take it with you” is the first thing you need to remember when planning for your future, so unless you want it to all be bled away in taxes and legal expenses you need a plan. “Your Complete Guide to Leaving an Inheritance for Your Children and Others” by Michael A. Valles provides several key insights and suggestions for putting this plan together, getting you the best bang for your buck and making sure that your funds go to the family members you want.
The guide takes readers through what seems like every option for setting up an inheritance, as Valles breaks down how to calculate exactly what you have and what sort of wills and trusts are necessary to protect specific resources. His arguments are strengthened with various attorney-provided case studies, ranging from clients who relied too heavily on the Internet to clients who knew exactly how much they wanted per year in retirement. Each of his cases also hits upon the main theme that no relationship or law is a constant, so all your wills and plans should be open to change if they aren’t already.
My one complaint was I found the book became a bit abstract and preachy in some areas, particularly when Valles began talking about how it is important to emphasize to whomever you will be leaving the inheritance the values that allowed you to get it. I agree it’s important to make sure your heirs don’t squander what you left them, but it seems more practical to set up conditions in the will rather than lecture to your immediate family.
No one should ever set an inheritance plan without consulting attorneys or other estate planners, but anyone starting to look at their declining years and related expenses would be advised to take a look at “Your Complete Guide to Leaving an Inheritance for Your Children and Others.” Valles collects the essentials of what your future requires and pools it into an accessible text which will point you in the right direction to making sure your loved ones are taken care of.