The Bottom Line
- Easy to read and understand
- For women of all ages and economic backgrounds
- Provides an easy to follow planning road map
- Her take on estate planning, but otherwise none
- Written by Wynne A. Whitman, J.D., M.B.A., L.L.M., a partner with Schenck, Price, Smith and King, LLP, Morristown, NJ
- Published by Financial Times Press, 2008
- Includes valuable information for women of all ages and any financial background about the complex world of estate planning
- Takes a complex topic and breaks it into easy to understand parts
Guide Review - Smart Women Protect Their Assets
Wynne A. Whitman offers up some common sense advice about the complex world of estate planning in her new book Smart Women Protect Their Assets - Essential Information for Every Woman About Wills, Trusts, and More.
Drawing from her years of experience as an estate planning attorney, Ms. Whitman guides women from all walks of life through everything they need to know about planning for the possibility of mental incapacity and inevitable death.
The chapters are organized as a series of questions - "Why Should You Worry About Estate Planning?" - that are answered in detail and yet easy to understand. And practical tips are offered on just about every page - "You need to be proactive to achieve your goals"; "Avoid using your estate planning as a threat or weapon"; "Tell your attorney everything" - things I tell my own clients.
The one minor drawback is that the book is written from Ms. Whitman's own personal point of view on estate planning. For example, she states: "Preparing estate planning documents shouldn't be done on a flat fee basis - an estate plan is never cookie-cutter or boilerplate and shouldn't be priced as if it were an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation." I've been practicing as an estate planning attorney for 14 years in several states and yet I've never met an attorney who charges an hourly fee for estate planning services, but perhaps this is just a regional difference.
As a fellow woman practicing in the estate planning field, it still amazes me how many women don't understand the importance of making an estate plan. As the back cover of the book points out, women now control more than half of U.S. private wealth and that number is expected to reach 60% by 2010, and women outlive men by four to seven years. It's time for women to take control of their lives and their wealth, and reading this book will get them off to a good start.