YOU MAY BE LOSING YOUR INHERITANCE by Martin Levin

YOU MAY BE LOSING YOUR INHERITANCE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Eternal vigilance, according to this unpleasant alert, is one price of a legacy; and Levin, as much sponsor as author, has recruited a clutch of experts to stand by. Leading off is New York County Surrogate Marie Lambert who details the potential pitfalls of carelessly or poorly drafted wills and intestacy for ""legitimate"" legatees. Attorneys Abe Siegel and David Bernheim recommend, among other things, that prospective heirs conduct asset-by-asset reviews of legators' worldly goods and provide them with ""candid input"" on their estate planning. In addition to sound advice on survival-purchase agreements covering partners in closely held businesses, the pros and cons of joint tenancy, ownership of life insurance policies, and related matters, they offer some decidedly odd suggestions (such as checking the hems of a deceased woman's clothing--especially if she's ""of European background""--for jewelry). Completing the guest panel is a psychologist, Howard Halpern, whose contribution is an Eric-Berne variation labeled ""song and dance routines."" He assumes, in brief, that family affairs are adversarial, meaning that adult children may have to bend to the whims of aging parents, at the probable cost of self-respect, or risk losing their birthrights. Roughly 40 percent of the slim volume is devoted to state-by-state rundowns on will-execution requirements, inheritance taxes, and executor/executrix fees. Heirs presumptive, seeking to protect their interests or secure reliable information on the sensitive subject of bequests are better served by the straightforward material on wills, trusts, and estate planning in such personal-finance guides as Everyone's Money Book (p. 374).

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1979
Publisher: Times Books