A useful, reader-friendly guide to one of life’s most daunting chores.



Planning on dying? We all should, and this handy primer provides guidelines for properly writing a will.

In this debut, Turner, an estate attorney, warns of the problems that crop up when one dies without a last will and testament; for example, state law could give the house that you lived in with your current spouse to your children from a former marriage. He advises writing a so-called “holographic will”; it’s a legal term, not for a shimmery, 3-D image but for a will that’s written out entirely by hand. Because it can be authenticated by comparing it to handwriting samples, it doesn’t usually need witnesses or lawyerly vetting, making it the least expensive option for people with modest, uncomplicated fortunes (in the 26 states that allow it). Turner shows how to craft a will that does what one wants while also avoiding the ambiguities and pitfalls that can tie an estate up in court. He covers the basics along with advanced topics, such as how to list bequests of tangible belongings so that there’s no squabbling over who gets what; how to specify a guardian for children or prevent an 18-year-old from blowing his inheritance; how to deal with the possibility that your spouse could die with you in a car crash; how to provide for a pet; and how to bequeath your gun collection without getting your executor arrested for illegal firearms transfers. Turner deals with these niceties and others in concise, no-nonsense prose; for example, he notes that specifying funeral arrangements in a will is a bad idea because “By the time someone locates your will and the executor takes the necessary steps to start acting on behalf of your estate, you will be long buried.” He also provides checklists, model clauses, and complete sample wills; these cover a multitude of contingencies from the bare-bones “Tangible list, spouse, adult children” case to a convoluted “Divorced, Tangible List, Specific Bequests, Residence Sold, Residue to Charity” case. The clear advice and specific language will give readers confidence in drafting their own wills.

A useful, reader-friendly guide to one of life’s most daunting chores.

Pub Date: Jan. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4808-5710-0

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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