Chapter 1 The Single Biggest Mistake – Not for the One Certainty in Life…Death.
Mistake # 1: No Estate Whatsoever.
Mistake # 2: Out-of-Date Wills.
Mistake # 3: Losing your Will.
Mistake # 4: Do-It-Yourselfers and Handwritten Wills.
Mistake #5: Not Signing Your Will Because You Physically Can't.
Mistake #6 Not Properly Executed Documents.
Mistake #7: The Best Laid (Estate) Plans.
Mistake #8: Dying Intestate or without a Will.
Chapter 2 Mistakes Involving Tangible Personal Property.
Mistake #9: Nemo Dat Quo Non Habet (Latin for "He Who Hath Not Cannot Give").
Mistake #10: Not Properly Documenting the Delivery and Completion of a Gift.
Mistake #11: Selling Valuable Tangible Personal Property Too Close to Death.
Mistake #12: Bequeathing Tangible Personal Property that You Do Not Own.
Mistake #13: Mentioning Too Many Details in Your Will.
Mistake #14: Not Including Any Details in Your Will.
Mistake #15: Not Providing Properly for the Care of Your Pets After Your Death.
Mistake #16: Leaving Too Much Money for Your Pets After Your Death.
Mistake #17: Giving the Same Tangible Personal Property Item to More than One Person.
Mistake #18: Not Properly Providing for the Disposition of Your Artworks after Your Death.
Mistake #19: Not Providing for Your Tangible Personal Property in a Revocable Living Trust.
Chapter 3 Mistakes Involving Real Estate.
Mistake #20: Not Confirming How Title is Held to Real Estate Before or Right After Death.
Mistake #21: Forgetting that Real Estate Usually Passes Subject to Loans and Mortgages.
Mistake #22: Not Draining the Water Pipes in a Vacant House in Cold Weather.
Mistake #23: Failing to Maintain Adequate Property and Casualty Insurance on Estate Property - Especially Vacant Real Estate.
Mistake #24: Failing to Provide that Children, or others, May Continue to Reside in the Family Home with the Executor's or Trustee's Approval.
Mistake #25: Failing to Provide that Existing Leases Will Terminate on Reasonable Terms After the Death of the Owner of the Property.
Mistake #26: Owning Land, a House or an Apartment in a Foreign Country.
Mistake #27: Assuming That a Co-operative Apartment Building Board Will Always Do What You Would Like It to Do.
Mistake #28: Placing Real Estate in a Trust Without Checking on the Ramifications of Doing So.
Chapter 4 Mistakes Involving Executors and/or Trustees.
Mistake #29: Selecting Only One Executor in a Complicated Estate.
Mistake #30: Selecting Too Many Executors.
Mistake #31: Selecting an Even Number of Executors.
Mistake #32: Selecting Executors with a Conflict of Interest.
Mistake #33: Not Compensating (or Under-Compensating) Your Executors.
Mistake #34: Not Selecting Your Spouse as an Executor.
Mistake #35: Surprising Your Spouse with the Terms of Your Will.
Mistake #36: Not Naming Your Children as Executors.
Mistake #37: Naming Your Children as Executors.
Mistake #38: Naming a Literary Executor in Your Will.
Mistake #39: Naming a Corporate Fiduciary That Can Be Removed by an Individual Fiduciary.
Chapter 5 Mistakes Involving Guardians, Minors or Step-Children.
Mistake #40: Not Naming the Biological Parent as the Guardian of Your Minor Children.
Mistake #41: Naming the Biological Parent as the Guardian of Your Minor Child.
Mistake #42: Failing To Periodically Review Your Choice of Guardian(s).
Mistake #43: Assuming that Your Step-Children Have the Same Legal Rights as Your Biological Children.
Chapter 6 Mistakes Involving Prior Marriages, Prenuptial Agreements and Significant Others.
Mistake #44: Not Taking into Account the Terms of an Existing Separation or Divorce Agreement.
Mistake #45: Entirely Disinheriting Children or Grandchildren Out of Stupidity or Inadvertence.
Mistake #46: Not Taking Your Spouse's Legal or Statutory Rights into Account.
Mistake #47: Putting Your Child in Charge of a Surviving Spouse Who Is Not His or Her Parent.
Mistake #48: Assuming that Your Divorce Automatically Revokes Your Will in its Entirety.
Mistake #49: Not Updating Your Will at the Start of Your Divorce Proceedings.
Mistake #50: Not Respecting the Validity of A Prenuptial Agreement.
Mistake #51: Not Mentioning the Prenuptial Agreement in Your Will.
Mistake #52: Failing to Fund a Revocable Living Trust During Your Lifetime in Order to Avoid Probate.
Chapter 7 Estate Mistakes Involving Tax and Copyright Issues.
Mistake #53: Eliminating Your Residuary Estate because of High Taxes on your Personal Property.
Mistake #54: Not Taking Full Advantage of the Available Tax Exemption Amount.
Mistake #55: Not Having Assets Titled in the Name of Each Spouse.
Mistake #56: Failing to Ascertain if Gift Tax Returns Were Ever Filed.
Mistake #57: Failing to Pay the 5 percent Annual Minimum Distribution Requirement for Private Charitable Foundations.
Mistake #58: Not Having a Buy-Sell Agreement in a Closely Held Business, Partnership or Limited Liability Corporation.
Mistake #59: Failing to Title Appreciated Real Estate in the Name of the Spouse More Likely to Die First.
Mistake #60: Separating the Copyright Interest from the Work of Art Itself That Is Bequeathed to a Charity.
Chapter 8 Estate Mistakes Involving Disgruntled Friends and Family.
Mistake #61: Lack of a No Contest or In Terrorem Clause in Your Will.
Mistake #62: Using A One Dollar No Contest/In Terrorem Clause in Your Will.
Mistake #63: Using a Codicil Instead of a New Will.
Mistake #64: Impulsively Changing Your Will By Whipping Out a Quick, "Down and Dirty" Codicil.
Mistake #65: Not Contacting the Attorney for the Beneficiary of a Will When Trying to Settle a Dispute with the Attorney for the Executor.
Mistake #66: Requiring Survivorship by a Certain Number of Days.
Mistake #67: Not Including Your Long-Time Secretary or Assistant as a Beneficiary in Your Will.
Mistake #68: Entirely Disinheriting Children or Grandchildren Out of Anger or Vindictiveness.
Mistake #69: Failing to Mention the Names of the Heirs You Intend to Disinherit in Your Will.
Mistake #70: Directing That a Specific Attorney or Other Advisor Be Hired by Your Executor.
Mistake # 71: Not Taking Advantage of a Qualified Disclaimer within Nine Months of Death.
Mistake #72: Offering Too Large an Amount at the Outset of Negotiations.
Mistake #73: Arguing with Your Attorney about Legal Fees.
Mistake #74: Fighting With a Lawyer with "Criminal" Clients.
Mistake #75: Having Your Former Mother-in-Law Own a Life Insurance Policy on Your Life.
Mistake #76: Not Getting the Original Will Back from the Person Replaced as an Executor.
Chapter 9 Mistakes Involving Funerals, Burials or Cremation.
Mistake #77: Not Appointing Someone to Make Burial and Funeral Arrangements.
Mistake #78: Spending Too Much on a Funeral or Burial.
Mistake #79: Providing Overly Detailed Funeral and Burial Instructions in Your Will.
Mistake #80: Prepaying for Your Funeral, or Not.
Mistake #81: Directing That There Be No Funeral or Memorial Service.
Mistake #82: Losing the Deed for your Cemetery Plot.
Mistake #83: Directing that Your Bodily Remains or Ashes Be Buried or Scattered in an Illegal Manner.
Mistake #84: Directing that your Pet’s Remains Be Buried Together with Yours.
Mistake #85: Getting Too Religious in Your Will.
Chapter 10 One of a Kind Mistakes by Celebrities and Icons.
Mistake #86: Not Making Charitable Gifts in Your Will When Your Sons Are the Heirs to the British Throne.
Mistake #87: Mentioning the Name of a Lawsuit Involving You in Your Own Will.
Mistake #88: Leaving Your Estate to an Older Person Outright and Not in Trust.
Mistake #89: Leaving It All to Your Girlfriend Who Has a Drug Addiction.
Mistake #90: Making a Bequest with Politically Incorrect or Racist Strings Attached.
Mistake #91: Not Properly Identifying an Organization that Receives a Bequest.
Mistake #92: Not Providing How to Determine that Your Wife Has Regained Her Sanity.
Mistake #93: Murdering Your Spouse (or Anyone Else).
Chapter 11 Rookie or Boneheaded Mistakes.
Mistake #94: Making a Material Misrepresentation on a Life Insurance Application.
Mistake #95: Not Settling a Dispute When the Downside is much Greater than the Upside.
Mistake #96: Making Handwritten Changes to a Will after it Has Been Signed and Witnessed.
Mistake #97: Acting as a Witness to a Will In Which You are Named as a Beneficiary.
Mistake #98: Removing the Staples from an Original Will.
Mistake #99: Putting Your Original Will In a Bank Safe Deposit Box Which May be Sealed.
Mistake #100: Preparing Only a Videotaped Will Instead of a Written One.
Mistake #101: Owning a Large Amount of Life Insurance in Your Name Individually.
About the Author.