Legal Issues

Crash Course AARP Crash Course in Estate Planning: the Essential Guide to Wills, Trusts, and Your Personal Legacy by Michael T. Palermo (2008) This book walks readers through the entire process from understanding the distinction between probate and non-probate property to delegating a durable power of attorney, and from resolving possible tax issues ahead of time to safeguarding your assets. [NHCPL]

 American Bar Association Guide to Wills & Estates

American Bar Association Guide to Wills & Estates: Everything You Need to Know About Wills, Estates, Trusts, and Taxes (2009)Sections include “Choose an Executor or Trustee,” “Determine What to Put in Your Estate,” “Avoid or Reduce Estate Taxes,” and “Understand the Benefits of Living Gifts and Life Insurance.” [NHCPL]

 The Best Way to Say GoodbyeThe Best Way to Say Goodbye: A Legal Peaceful Choice at the End of Life by Stanley A. Terman, Ph.D., M.D. (2007) Covers the thorny legal and medical issues around “end of life” documents in a way that the lay person can feel they are in control of their final wishes. An extensive bibliography, a glossary of medical and legal terms, and an up to date resources section make this an important contribution to the discussion.

 The Complete Guide to Planning Your Estate in North CarolinaThe Complete Guide to Planning Your Estate in North Carolina: A Step-by-Step Plan to Protect Your Assets, Limit Your Taxes, and Ensure Your Wishes are Fulfilled for North Carolina Residents. By Linda C. Ashar (2010) For those do-it-yourselfers who want to really understand the legalities of estate planning, this book will pretty much tell you everything you need to know – in North Carolina. [NHCPL]

Durable General Power of Attorney Kit


Durable General Power of Attorney Kit by Enodare (2014) Up-to-date and inexpensive (not seen as it is just out.)


The Easy Will and Living Will Kit


The Easy Will and Living Will Kit by Joy S. Chambers (2005) Provides all the documents you need in one place. Shows you the simple steps it takes to prepare your will, living will, and powers of attorney. Forms and a CD-Rom to speed the process along. [NHCPL]

Estate Planning Basics


*** Estate Planning Basics (2013) This book lays out your options in plain English, helping you design the right estate plan for you and your family. [NHCPL]

Estate Planning for Blended Families

Estate Planning for Blended Families: Providing for Your Spouse & Children in a Second Marriage by Richard E. Barnes (2009) This book is for parents in second marriages who want to provide both for their current spouse and their children from the current and prior marriages. The author has years of experience guiding couples through the process of setting goals, discussing competing priorities, and choosing strategies. [NHCPL]

 Estate Planning for the Blended Family

Estate Planning for the Blended Family by L. Paul Hood, Jr. (2012) The author outlines estate planning specifically for blended families addressing the special concerns and issues that may arise and provides various examples of different blended families. [NHCPL]

 Estate Planning for People with a Chronic Condition or Disability

Estate Planning for People with a Chronic Condition or Disability by Martin M. Shenkman, C.P.A., M.B.A., J.D. (2009) The author includes examples of various estate planning problems that people with chronic illnesses and/or disability may encounter and gives solutions to each issue. [NHCPL]

 The Estate Planning ToolkitThe Estate Planning Toolkit by Daniel Sitarz (2008) All the tools you’ll need to create your own customized Estate Plan including state-specific forms, wills and living wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives and organ donations. [NHCPL]

 Executors Guide Settling a Loved Ones Estate or Trust

Executor’s Guide: Settling a Loved One’s Estate or Trust by Mary Randolph (2014) The author, a lawyer, will lead you through an unfamiliar land of legal procedures and terminology. You’ll learn what to do right away and what can wait and how to find help when you need it.

Guiding Those Left Behind All the Legal and Practical Things

*** Guiding Those Left Behind: All the Legal and Practical Things You Need to Settle an Estate in North Carolina and How to Arrange Your Own Affairs to Avoid Unnecessary Cost to Your Family by Amelia Pohl (2001) All the legal and practical things that need to be done to settle the estate of a resident of North Carolina. [NHCPL]

 How to Administer an Estate A Step-by-Step Guide for Families and FriendsHow to Administer an Estate: A Step-by-Step Guide for Families and Friends by Stephen G. Christianson (2004) Includes examples of common situations, sample forms, checklists, a glossary, and summaries of the legal requirements in all 50 states. [NHCPL]

 Please Don’t Die But if You Do*** Please Don’t Die! But if You Do, What Do I do Next? A Practical and Cost-Saving Guide for the Estate Executor by Kure J. Grube and Keith S. Grube (2012) This book includes advice such as making the funeral arrangements, dividing up the jewelry and selling the furniture. More importantly, it gives the first time executor enough information so they can be conversant when talking to lawyers, accounts and beneficiaries.

 Power of Attorney Handbook

Power of Attorney Handbook: A Plain English Guide” That Saves You Time and Money (6th ed.) by Edward Haman (2006) An easy-to-use tool to help you prepare a power of attorney for your financial matters and health care concerns in minutes [NHCPL has 1994 ed.]

 Make Your Own Living Trust

Make Your Own Living Trust (2013) Explains how to create a living trust, transfer property to the trust, and amend or revoke the trust at any time.  [NHCPL]

 Make Your Own Simple Will

Make Your Own Simple Will by Mark Warda (2006) An easy-to-use tool to help you complete your will and other estate planning documents. Includes a CD-Rom with all of the documents needed. [NHCPL]

 My Will BookMy Will Book by Michael G. Trachtman (2007) This nicely bound hardcover is designed to BE YOUR WILL. The author says it should “take less than one hour to complete and when filled in, signed by you, witnessed by three adults, and notarized, this is the only will you may ever need.”

 On the Road Planning an Estate

On the Road: Planning an Estate by Sheryl Garrett (2006) Maps out the entire journey of estate planning, including opportunities for maximizing your estate and guidance for avoiding common roadblocks. [NHCPL]

 Plan Your Estate

*** Plan Your Estate (2012) Informative, well written, and current with good advice. Explains concepts with stories about people’s situations that may match your own. [NHCPL]

 The Settlement Game

The Settlement Game: How to Settle an Estate Peacefully and Fairly by Angie Epting Morris (2006) Dividing an estate fairly may sound easy, but in fact very few people know how to do it. Includes forms and legal cases that apply.

The Wall Street Journal Complete Estate Planning Guide Book

The Wall Street Journal Complete Estate Planning Guide Book by Rachel Emma Silverman (2011) Chock-full of clear and practical advice on how to get the most out of the main estate-planning tools including wills, trusts, life insurance, guardianship papers, and powers-of-attorney documents. [NHCPL]

 The Wills and Trusts Kit

The Wills and Trusts Kit: Your Complete Guide to Planning for the Future by Douglas E. Godbe (2006) Includes over 30 will-related and over 20 trust-related documents. [NHCPL]

 Wills, Trusts, and Estates Administration

Wills, Trusts, and Estates Administration by Susan Herskowitz Singer (2011) Throughout the text, core concepts are carefully explained and reinforced by illustrations, charts, tables and appellate court cases. [NHCPL]

 Write Your Legal Will in 3 Easy

Write Your Legal Will in 3 Easy Steps: Complete Kit by Robert C. Waters (2012) Just follow the step-by-step instructions in this book and use the forms to create your own will. Comes with a CD-Rom of customizable forms. [NHCPL]

 The Complete Guide to Planning Your Estate in North Carolina

Your North Carolina Wills, Trusts, and Estates Explained Simply: Important Information You Need to Know for North Carolina Residents by Linda C. Ashar (2011) Beyond wills and trusts this work covers trust agreements, trust property, settlement costs, life insurance, durable powers of attorney, marital deductions, gift splitting, survivor ship deeds, gift tax issues, generation skipping transfer tax, tax deferred accounts and advance directives. [NHCPL]



This bibliography was prepared by Rebecca Taylor, Funeral Consumers Alliance – Costal Carolina. Notation of “NHCPL” means the New Hanover County Public Library.

Please check your local public library, or request titles by Interlibrary Loan. Virtually all titles are also available from online bookstores, like, often in “used” and other inexpensive editions.,


Questions or for more copies contact:
F Rebecca Taylor, President
Funeral Consumers Alliance Coastal Carolina
P.O. Box 4262
Wilmington, NC 28406