Wills and Trusts - best reference material?

We need to update our wills and I’ve seen several different news articles regarding the flexibility that a Trust can have. Most of the sources I’ve seen to this point are selling something so I’m looking for a good source of general information from a non-biased source.

What books or sites can you recommend as primers?


The Wikipedia article seems to be an adequate basic overview.

I would recommend going to a trusts and estates lawyer in your state/locality. They will often charge a fixed fee for an estate consultation and/or preparation of wills and related documents (the fee quoted may vary based on the size and complexity of the estate, but it will often be a fixed, not hourly, quote).

The estates lawyer will be able to discuss alternatives tailored to your particular situation (including the tax and other implications of those alternatives), rather than a general overview of options, some of which might be not suitable for you despite initial attractiveness.

Good luck.

I suggest taking a look at the website of Nolo Press.

I’d definitely see an estate planning/probate & trust attorney. State laws differ quite a bit on probate and estate laws, and it’s probably very worthwhile to find a person who’s familiar with your local ones.

My fiance is an attorney, and she specialized in probate & trust in school, and she frequently laments the “Wills for Dummies” books, because they’re so generic that they can lead people into thinking they’re prepared, when in reality, they’re open to having their estates go into the probate legal system instead of having everything taken care of with a minimum of fuss.