Baby Boomer's Guide to Estate & Medicaid Planning

IBaby Boomer's Guide to Estate & Medicaid Planning/IJon A. Iverson, JD. Baby Boomer's Guide to Estate & Medicaid Planning (Medford, OR. Stonemark Publishing. 2005. 238 pages).

If they aren't concerned with issues involving their parents' possible incapacity and eventual deaths, Baby Boomers will soon be facing questions related to their own demise. This book is a highly readable survey of the estate planning and long-term care choices that could spell the difference between financial stability and ruin for families as one generation gives way to the next.

Author Jon Iverson, an elder law specialist who has been practicing law for more than 30 years, writes in a straightforward style that renders comprehensible even the most confusing tax or Medicaid concepts. The book is also filled with helpful, real-world examples that illustrate the concepts presented.

Readers will learn, for example, what a will can and cannot accomplish, why joint tenancy is not a substitute for estate planning, how trusts and estates are taxed, the role of guardians and conservators, how a credit shelter trust works, and what to look for in a long-term care insurance policy. Two important topics -- living trusts and Medicaid planning -- receive their own sections. The book is also particularly useful for those who may serve as an executor, trustee, guardian or conservator of someone else's estate.

Iverson is refreshingly candid in reminding readers that there are no easy answers -- each estate planning choice involves some sort of tradeoff. He also stresses that his book is not a "do-it-yourself" substitute for retaining professional advice. But reading it will help Boomers -- or anyone else -- work more confidently with the legal or financial professionals they retain.