The most useful part of this owner's manual is a lengthy appendix that provides a state-by-state rundown on property law. The text is valuable mainly for a wealth of what-if briefings which stress the need for competent counsel in the arrangement of one's personal financial affairs. Shulman surveys the exigencies of property ownership as they affect singles, married couples, and those in the throes of or contemplating divorce. She also explores the special needs of cohabitants, matrimonial repeaters, proprietors of closely held businesses, and others, including adults responsible for the care of elderly parents. Her sketchy canvass reveals a plethora of pitfalls for the unwary. Joint tenancies, for example, are by no means judgment-proof, and in some jurisdictions dower statutes may trip up deceitful husbands by putting a de facto lien on the title to any property they acquire in their own names. For the happily married, Shulman shows, property planning became somewhat less complicated after passage of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, but unfortunates suffering through marital breakups must still grapple with concepts like equitable distribution, despite the marginally clearer guidelines incorporated in the Tax Reform Act of 1984. Live-in lovers without a written agreement--and property to split--are almost bound to encounter difficulties if they part. Throughout, Shulman offers once-over-lightly coverage of trusts and other possible solutions to the many problems she introduces in her case studies. There's also a helpful glossary. On balance, then, a sound reference for anyone of means.