Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Deborah Jacobs posts update to "Estate Planning Smarts" to cover new tax law

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Deborah Jacobs, the author of the fabulous book Estate Planning Smarts has recently posted a concise explanation of how the recently enacted tax law impacts estate planning. I recommend both her book and the update.

January 11, 2018 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Book on The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying (Routledge Religion Companions) 1st Edition

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-31/a2a339f9-a0c6-48b9-aed3-60f8a93c3d2c.pngChristopher M Moreman (Editor) published a book entitled: The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying (Routledge Religion Companions) 1st Edition (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

Few issues apply universally to people as poignantly as death and dying. All religions address concerns with death from the handling of human remains, to defining death, to suggesting what happens after life. The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying provides readers with an overview of the study of death and dying. Questions of death, mortality, and more recently of end-of-life care, have long been important ones and scholars from a range of fields have approached the topic in a number of ways. Comprising over fifty-two chapters from a team of international contributors, the companion covers:

  • funerary and mourning practices;
  • concepts of the afterlife;
  • psychical issues associated with death and dying;
  • clinical and ethical issues;
  • philosophical issues;
  • death and dying as represented in popular culture.

This comprehensive collection of essays will bring together perspectives from fields as diverse as history, philosophy, literature, psychology, archaeology and religious studies, while including various religious traditions, including established religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism as well as new or less widely known traditions such as the Spiritualist Movement, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and Raëlianism. The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying is essential reading for students and researchers in religious studies, philosophy and literature.

 

January 2, 2018 in Books, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Book on Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-25/01b5a6c5-ea07-458b-9545-8650142ad363.pngPatt Lind-Kyle published a book entitled: Embracing the End of Life: A Journey Into Dying & Awakening (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

Explore the Resistance to Death, and Awaken More Fully to Life

Death is simply one more aspect of being a human being, but in our culture, we’ve made it a taboo. As a result, most of us walk through life with conscious or unconscious fears that prevent us from experiencing true contentment. Embracing the End of Life invites you to lean into your beliefs and questions about death and dying, helping you release tense or fearful energy and awaken to a more vital life now.

Preparing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for this inevitable transition provides improved clarity and strength. This book shares the idea of death as a journey of three steps—resistance, letting go, and transcendence. With dozens of exercises, practices, and meditations, author Patt Lind-Kyle helps you experience your truest, most expansive self. Exploring multiple aspects of life and death—with everything from chakras and the Enneagram to living wills and health care directives—this book is meant to help you unwind the challenge of death and discover the truth of your own path to inner freedom.

 

December 27, 2017 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Book on From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-18/71a7eda6-d244-4fbc-96b8-5e16583c2184.pngCaitlin Doughty published a book entitled: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

The best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with "dignity."

Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America.

In rural Indonesia, she watches a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body, which has resided in the family home for two years. In La Paz, she meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and in Tokyo she encounters the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes.

With boundless curiosity and gallows humor, Doughty vividly describes decomposed bodies and investigates the world’s funerary history. She introduces deathcare innovators researching body composting and green burial, and examines how varied traditions, from Mexico’s Días de los Muertos to Zoroastrian sky burial help us see our own death customs in a new light.

Doughty contends that the American funeral industry sells a particular―and, upon close inspection, peculiar―set of "respectful" rites: bodies are whisked to a mortuary, pumped full of chemicals, and entombed in concrete. She argues that our expensive, impersonal system fosters a corrosive fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn. By comparing customs, she demonstrates that mourners everywhere respond best when they help care for the deceased, and have space to participate in the process.

Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the morbid unknown, a story about the many fascinating ways people everywhere have confronted the very human challenge of mortality.

December 19, 2017 in Books, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book on Missing Pieces Plan: Providing You and Your Loved Ones Peace of Mind

41eveEnvMzLJody Giles, published a book entitled, Missing Pieces Plan: Providing You and Your Loved Ones Peace of Mind (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

If something happens to you today, would your loved ones know your wishes?

82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing, but only 23% have actually done it. The Missing Pieces Plan is here to help change that.

The Missing Pieces Plan is ONE book designed to guide you through the process of documenting all your wishes and leaving you - and your loved ones - well prepared.

There’s a saying, “leave a legacy, not a mess.” Incorporating these missing pieces into your plan allows you to leave a legacy, not a mess and provides you and your loved ones the greatest gift – peace of mind.

While giving you peace of mind, this book is also a gift to your loved ones. It spares them stressful decisions and needless frustrations when you’re ill or upon your death. The book also presents loved ones with your legacy, your story.

By completing the worksheets in this one-of-a-kind guide, you will have it all done - allowing you to live a more fulfilled life NOW.

What makes it unique?

Written by a CPA and CFP® with over 20 years financial and life experiences

Unconventional guidance that helps you fills in missing pieces of traditional financial plans

Includes uniquely crafted worksheets to help readers put their wishes to paper

Will provide you and your loved ones with a priceless gift of peace of mind

November 23, 2017 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Book on Cunningham and Cunningham's The Logic of The Transfer Taxes: A Guide to the Federal Taxation of Wealth Transfers

2289754Laura E. Cunningham & Noel B. Cunningham recently published a book entitled, Cunningham and Cunningham's The Logic of The Transfer Taxes: A Guide to the Federal Taxation of Wealth Transfers (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

The Logic of the Transfer Taxes: A Guide to the Federal Taxation of Wealth Transfers, offers a broad survey of the federal transfer tax system. It thoroughly covers all of the fundamental rules of the gift, estate and generation skipping transfer taxes and provides numerous illustrative examples. It also offers a glimpse of some popular tax planning techniques, including FLPs, GRATS and IDGT’S, and the Special Valuation Rules of Chapter 14. It is appropriate for use as a coursebook for a two or three credit JD or LLM course, or as a reference for newcomers to the area. Teachers using the book as a principal text will have access to a related Problem Set and Teacher’s Manual.

November 3, 2017 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Books - For the Classroom, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Book on How to Get the Death You Want: A Practical and Moral Guide

41dHHMq1r+L._SX331_BO1 204 203 200_John Abraham Rev., published a book entitled, How to Get the Death You Want: A Practical and Moral Guide (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

This is a comprehensive manual for anybody reaching the end of life, and for their caring friends, relatives, advocates, and caretakers. The author, an Episcopal priest, describes in detail the formidable challenges faced by those who wish to avoid months or years of painful treatment after they no longer have any hope of recovering any reasonable quality of life. Specific subjects include:

the nature of physical death;
legal documents to clarify one's wishes;
the need for a strong advocate to have the patient's wishes honored
moral questions that must be considered;
means of dying painlessly once the decision is made;
and much more, including how to respond to reluctant doctors, and the value of humor in communicating with a dying patient.

Abraham emphasizes that despite is position as a priest, this is not a religious book. It is intended for people of all faiths or no faith. People develop their own views on end-of-life issues, and for those who have not yet given it much thought, he offers facts and insights that are useful in forming one's moral beliefs. The decision, of course, must always be made by the patient, usually well ahead of time while he or she is able to make a sound judgment. If the patient desires continued medical treatment despite suffering and no means of recovery, that person's wishes must be honored. However, he argues strongly that those who hope to avoid the terrible suffering that comes so often at the end of life should also have their wishes honored.

The book carries strong endorsements from a number of well-known authorities on death, dying, grief, and mourning, including Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, the author of numerous best-selling books on death and grieving, and Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society and author of Final Exit.

October 22, 2017 in Books, Death Event Planning, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Book on The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

51RHKNQvXPL._SX326_BO1 204 203 200_Margareta Magnusson published a book entitled, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.

In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.

Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.

October 15, 2017 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Book on Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life

51Zn380w53L._SX329_BO1 204 203 200_Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter, M.D., published a book entitled, Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

In medical school, no one teaches you how to let a patient die.

Jessica Zitter became a doctor because she wanted to be a hero. She elected to specialize in critical care—to become an ICU physician—and imagined herself swooping in to rescue patients from the brink of death. But then during her first code she found herself cracking the ribs of a patient so old and frail it was unimaginable he would ever come back to life. She began to question her choice.

Extreme Measures 
charts Zitter’s journey from wanting to be one kind of hero to becoming another—a doctor who prioritizes the patient’s values and preferences in an environment where the default choice is the extreme use of technology. In our current medical culture, the old and the ill are put on what she terms the End-of-Life  Conveyor belt. They are intubated, catheterized, and even shelved away in care facilities to suffer their final days alone, confused, and often in pain. In her work Zitter has learned what patients fear more than death itself: the prospect of dying badly. She builds bridges between patients and caregivers, formulates plans to allay patients’ pain and anxiety, and enlists the support of loved ones so that life can end well, even beautifully.


Filled with rich patient stories that make a compelling medical narrative, Extreme Measures enlarges the national conversation as it thoughtfully and compassionately examines an experience that defines being human.

October 13, 2017 in Books, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Book on Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss

519mCZT+XzL._SX326_BO1 204 203 200_Patrick O’Malley, PhD & Tim Madigan, published a book entitled, Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

When the New York Times ran Patrick O’Malley’s story about the loss of his infant son—and how his inability to “move on” challenged everything he was taught as a psychotherapist—it inspired an unprecedented flood of gratitude from readers.
 
What he shared was a truth that many have felt but rarely acknowledged by the professionals they turn to: that our grief is not a mental illness to be cured, but part of the abiding connection with the one we’ve lost.
 
Illuminated by O’Malley’s own story and those of many clients that he’s supported, readers learn how the familiar “stages of grief” too often mislabel our sorrow as a disorder, press us to “get over it,” and amplify our suffering with shame and guilt when we do not achieve “closure” in due course.
 
“Sadness, regret, confusion, yearning—all the experiences of grief—are a part of the narrative of love,” reflects O’Malley. Here, with uncommon sensitivity and support, he invites us to explore grief not as a process of recovery, but as the ongoing narrative of our relationship with the one we’ve lost—to be fully felt, told, and woven into our lives.
 
For those in bereavement and anyone supporting those who are, Getting Grief Right offers an uncommonly empathetic guide to opening to our sorrow as the full expression of our love.

 

October 4, 2017 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)