Create Your Best Legacy book - Michelle C. Lerman

Create Your Best Legacy

Finally, a book that explains estate planning, probate, trusts, and current laws in an entertaining style that’s easy to understand … even if you have no legal or financial background.

Free resources for California residents and what they must know to avoid property tax increases at death

What you will learn from this book?

  • How you could save up to tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees
  • Why virtually everybody, regardless of net worth, needs a good estate plan
  • Why recent changes in the law require you to re-think your estate plan
  • When you need a Living Trust…and when it’s a waste of money
  • Whether you need a lawyer and when you can do it yourself
  • What you must ask before hiring an attorney

Order your book.

How to Use This Guide:

This 4-Step Action Guide explains estate planning, probate, trusts and current laws in an entertaining style that’s easy to understand… even if you have no financial background.

This one-of-kind action guide is divided into four main sections, or steps, each answering a critical question in the estate planning process:

Step #1: Do I need an estate plan?

Step #2: What can my estate plan do for me?

Step #3: What do I need to know to get the right estate plan?

Step #4: How do I get my plan done?

To get a full picture of the estate planning process, read each step from start to finish. If one of the questions above is of particular interest, then find that step number in the table of contents and read that section to get your questions answered. For a short answer to each question, turn directly to the end of the section and review the “TAKE AWAY,” an easy-to-read summary of the most critical information for each step in the estate planning process.

If you learn best through stories, then peruse the vignettes within each step to learn from the experience of others. Each vignette is labeled and shown in italics in the Table of Contents. The “Life Lessons,” highlighted in grey throughout the guide, give further flavor to the teachings within a section-words of wisdom you might not find in a typical estate planning book.

For an overview and simple explanation of key words, refer to the “Glossary” at the end of the book. You won’t find legalese. You will find clear explanations of estate planning terms that you will want to know, making it easier to read the guide.

For visual learners, the book offers diagrams of the three types of Living Trusts discussed in this guide, a chart discussing the pros and cons of specific lifetime gifting opportunities, a sample death beneficiary designation and an estate plan review checklist.

Whether you decide to read this 4-Step Guide from page 1 to the end, or to look at the table of contents to determine which topics will be most helpful, you will find what you need to CREATE YOUR BEST LEGACY.

What the Experts are Saying

We live in Arizona and hired Jeff to handle a real estate matter for us in California. He answered all of our questions in a very timely manner and was very professional throughout the whole process. We would highly recommend Jeff and his law firm.

– Rick and Paula Jensen, AZ

“California is a state with complex and sometimes unusual property and inheritance laws. Combine California’s laws with the federal gift and estate tax regime, and it creates an almost indecipherable mess for those California residents attempting to plan for the distribution of their assets at death. Michelle Lerman’s new book does a wonderful job of untangling the interplay between California and federal law, while giving understandable and common sense explanations for why things should ideally be ordered in certain ways for California residents. Her book will also be a great tool for those considering a move to the Golden State. The folks who read Michelle Lerman’s new book will be several important steps ahead by the time they sit down with their estate planners to discuss the disposition of their most valuable assets.”

–JAY D. ADKISSON,’s Weath Preservation columnist

“As the founder of Noah’s Bagels and Bread & Circus and as a business consultant, I understand the importance not only of having sound wealth management strategies, but also taking action and implementing those strategies. Estate planning is an indispensable part of any wealth management plan and Michelle’s book is a must read for everybody, from novice to seasoned professional, who wants to learn more about this important topic.”
NOAH ALPER, founder of Noah’s Bagels, author of Business Mensch: Timeless Wisdom for Today’s Entrepreneur, business consultant (

“Create Your Best Legacy does a wonderful job of showing all of us that we all will leave some kind of legacy. Some will leave a legacy of acrimony and spouses and children wondering why you didn’t plan better. Others will leave a legacy of wealth, and thoughtful planning that could impact generations to come, a legacy where your grandchildren’s grandchildren find themselves thanking you for your kindness and generosity. This book can change lives.”
–ADIEL GOREL, President of lnternational Capital Group (www., Real Estate Investor, author of Remote Controlled Real Estate Riches: The Busy Persons Guide To Real Estate Investing, speaker

“Create Your Best Legacy should be required reading for anybody concerned about protecting their wealth for themselves and their family. There are important lessons you will learn from this book that could help you avoid costly mistakes. I give this book my highest recommendation. Thanks for writing this!”
-GENE TROWBRIDGE, Attorney (, CCIM, Author (“Its a Whole New Business”), Public Speaker, Teacher

“Michelle has illuminated and simplified the sometimes arcane and complex subject of estate planning. I would highlyrecommend this book to anyone involved in or interested in this important element of retirement planning and wealth management.”
–TOM ANDERSON, PENSCO Trust Company Founder, President of Retirement Industry Trust Association

“Ms. Lerman translates “estate planning” into plain English and inspires the reader to create an estate plan NOW, rather than leaving one’s legacy to an unknown end. By breaking down estate planning into four manageable tasks, Create Your Best Legacy empowers the reader to face what would otherwise be a daunting task. This book is a practical guide for both the layman and the lawyer. The chapters are concise, and provide clear definitions, illuminating anecdotes and insightful reminders to reconsider outdated estate planning tools in light of recent changes in the law.”
–ROMY S. TAUBMAN, attorney, Partner at Greene, Jordan & Taubman LLP (, specializing in family law, divorce, child custody, child support

“Create Your Best Legacy is filled with insightful words of wisdom, practical advice and easy solutions to avoid disputes before they begin. As a mediator of, among other things, probate disputes, I see firsthand how important it is for families to engage in the thoughtful and transparent estate planning Michelle discusses in her 4-Step Guide. Michelle truly is an “attorney with heart.”
– STEPHEN H. SULMEYER, J.D., Ph.D., attorney, mediator (

“Creating the right estate plan is the most important and basic part of any financial plan. Sometimes it feels that most attorneys make things so complicated that people don’t know where to start. In her book, Michelle simplifies the complex. Following her 4-Step Action Guide, regular people know exactly what they need to do. By sharing stories, Michelle makes estate planning easy and digestible. For anyone who has assets and people they care about, this book is a ‘must read.”
–ROB BLACK, host of “Rob Black & Your Money” on KRON 4 TV and 1220 AM Radio San Francisco,

“Estate planning laws have changed drastically and new strategies must be discussed and implemented. Too many people have documents that are out of date, confusing and lack protection for their children from divorce and lawsuits. This book is an easy to understand source for long-term strategies that can protect the assets that you have worked so hard to accumulate.”
-CHAD BURTON, Certified Financial Planner

“Michelle does an excellent job of taking a complex topic and making it understandable by using plain English, case studies, “take away” summaries, checklists, forms, diagrams, flowcharts. This is a great reference book for anybody interested in this topic, whether you’re a layperson or a wealth planning professional.”
– WILLIAM BRONCHIK, best-selling author, attorney, and host of

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