People often ask what are the "best" estate planning web sites? The following list of "best" sites includes our favorite sites, based on Dennis Kennedy's four years of maintaining the "Estate Planning Links Web Site," and our extensive search of the Internet. The notion of "best" will vary depending upon who you are and what you are looking for. The following web pages are excellent for one reason or another and illustrate some of the great potential of the World Wide Web. Believe us, there are some excellent web pages that we have left off this list and we encourage you to do your own exploring. We'd love to hear your suggestions for other candidates for this list.
So, sample these great web pages. Check out the links you find on these pages. You'll discover that many people are doing excellent work in this area.
ABA's Estate Planning Answers http://www.abanet.org/rppt/public/home.html
Consumer oriented, provides answers to the most common questions about the estate planning process, probate and administration of estates, transfer taxes and tax planning for your assets, and disability planning. This is part of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the ABA site, where you can get E-STATE, the Probate and Trust law electronic newsletter and can join the ABA-PTL listserv, the best e-mail discussion list on estate planning, and other listservs. The Section also maintains an archive of the ABA-PTL List.
California Estate Planning Page http://www.ca-probate.com
Dennis Kennedy started the Estate Planning Links Web Site in 1995 because he couldn't find any Internet resources that collected estate planning information or links or showed you what was out on the Web. Yahoo was also not much help. At about the same time, he found this page originally created by Mark Welch (now sponsored by the Castleman Law Firm) listed on the AltaVista search engine for the first time. It was a great page then, and it's a great page now. It's been fun to watch the evolution of Mark's page. This site has it all: articles, links, forms and a collection of the Wills of famous people. If you want to start a web page and want to see how it is done well and how to make a site that works for you and your practice, spend some time looking at and learning from this site.
Crash Course in Wills and Trusts http://www.mtpalermo.com
We really like this web site. A well-written outline covering many areas of estate planning from the simple to the complex. Excellent consumer focus. This page is great for non-lawyers and many lawyers will also find much to recommend the page. Another example of really innovative work from a solo practitioner. A site we would recommend that anyone look at before seeing their lawyer.
Dan Brady's Basic Estate Planning Concepts http://www.danbrady.com
If you spend much time on the Web looking at legal web sites, you'll soon discover that much of the innovative work seems to be done by small firms and solos. Dan Brady's page is simple, straightforward and a definite winner. The friendly picture of Dan also helps. Dan provides a solid introduction to some important estate planning concepts. The page works both as a great example of understated marketing and as a great way to help prepare potential clients before they come in to discuss their own estate planning.
The Estate Planning Links Web Site http://www.estateplanninglinks.com
What, not include our own web page? Since 1995, Dennis Kennedy has built a comprehensive and categorized list of web pages devoted to estate planning and related issues. We don't know of another set of links to estate planning and related web sites that is more comprehensive or that is a better starting place, either for the beginner or for someone looking for a focused topic, and several reviewers and writers seem to agree.The site is geared more to estate planning professionals than consumers, but that's been changing recently. Attorney Dennis Toman in Greensboro, NC took over the site and with plans to expand the consumer focus of the site and provide easy access to helpful books and other materials.
Internet Law Library: Trusts and Estates" http://www.priweb.com/internetlawlib/
Links to primary source material (the Internal Revenue Code and state statutes) and a variety of estate planning articles. Part of the much larger Internet Law Library.
Joe Hodge's Estate Planning Site http://www.jghlaw.com/
Joe is a nationally-known estate planning and technology expert and author. His page links you to a number of excellent and thoughtfully-chosen resources and some of his seminar materials.