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Estate Planning 101

by Elizabeth  Karen Reinhart

Are you overwhelmed at the thought of starting or updating your will or
trust? Do you need to overcome a state of indecision? The instructor of
Estate Planning 101, Susan Berkman, points out that your property
after your death will be distributed in one of three ways: (1) according to the terms and conditions of your will or trust, (2) if you die without a will or trust, then to your heirs according to the sections of the Probate Code regarding intestate succession, or (3) if no heirs can be discovered, then to the state in which you resided at the time of your death. Without planning, either of the last two options will occur. 
Susan wants to demystify the decisions you need to make before you make an appointment with a lawyer to draw up or amend your will and/or trust. She will explain the roles of various advisors such as a financial planner, accountant, and lawyer and will educate you about the documents needed and what trustees and executors do in carrying out your plan. This workshop-style class will help you overcome the challenges of planning your estate.
Before Susan was convinced to attend law school, she taught at the Braille Institute and at the College of the Desert. She conducted fundraisers for non-profit organizations and wrote grant applications for a law school.
After passing the bar exam, she set up a small general civil practice which later specialized in gifts, wills, and trusts. For the last twenty years she has worked in the field of planned giving for charities and institutes of higher learning. She has been serving for the last twelve years as the Assistant Vice President, University Relations and Development, for California State University, Long Beach. Because she loves teaching, she has been an instructor for OLLI for ten years.


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSULB
Building HS&D, Rooms 100 & 101
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840-5609
Phone: 562-985-8237 Fax: 562-985-8213
Web site:


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