Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, August 19, 2013

Some Summer Reading About Mortality


For those looking for a last bit of summer reading, here are some titles about life and death that may interest you.

If you’re looking for a little inspiration to find greater purpose in life, check out Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and The Last Lecture by Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch.  Both books are about great men who gracefully faced up to death. 

If you’re newly widowed, you may want to check out On Your Own: A Widow’s Passage to Emotional and Financial Well-Being by Alexandra Armstrong and A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates.  Armstrong provides a basic guide for women accustomed to their husbands handling the money while Oates will help those still coping with grief. 

For those wishing to read about dysfunctional families, there’s Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach by Meryl Gordon, which details the saga of Brooke Astor and her unscrupulous son Anthony Marshall.  For a detailed account of disappointed heirs, check out Hendrik Hartog’s Someday All This Will Be Yours.

For those worried about spoiling their kids, read Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide for Inheritors or Beyond Gold: True Wealth for Inheritors, two books by Thayer Willis based on his own experience.  For another take, try Eileen and Jon Gallo’s Silver Spoon Kids: How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children, which is a creative approach to teaching your children about money.

For those trying to build a charitable legacy, Charles W. Collier’s Wealth in Families looks at the motivations behind and methods for being philanthropic.

And for those interested in providing for your four-legged family members, there’s Fat Cats & Lucky Dogs: How to Leave (Some of) Your Estate to Your Pet by Barry Seltzer and myself.

See Deborah L. Jacobs, Summer Reading: Beach Blanket Books About Life and Death, Forbes, Aug. 19, 2013.


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