Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Spouse Survival by Ray Weinrub

Ray Weinrub's "Spouse Survival" handbook is the first POD book that I've read in a long time that actually lives up to its subtitle, "What to do before or after a death occurs; personal and financial organization." Between the covers of this slender volume lies an incredible wealth of information about handling a spouses demise, and the financial/legal aftermath. There are chapters on everything from estate planning to medicare/social security and even funeral arrangements and obituaries. There is space within the book to take notes and fill in the blanks on your financial information, such as your home expenses and monthly cash flow. The book is written in very plain English, with easy to understand explanations of complex subjects such as social security disability. The chapters are laid out in a logical manner, with important notes in boldface type. Weinrub is even smart enough to know that he can't cover every contingency in one book, so he often refers the reader to a professional attorney or other individual who can help the reader. I found the information on probate court after reading the will particularly enligthtening, as this is an area that has been thorny in my family for decades. I believe this is a resource book that should be owned by everyone over the age of 18, because you never know when a family member is going to pass on, and leave relatives with lots of questions and concerns. It's like having a sturdy umbrella; you may not need it everyday, but when you do need it, having it is a godsend.

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