ForeWord Reviews

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Handbook for Executors and Administrators of Estates

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

“Death is a distant rumor to the young.” Andy Rooney

Planning for death, whether our own or that of someone close to us, is never easy and is often ignored. For another’s death, we may be ill prepared to step up and handle those details that need to be addressed. B. Gene Bowyer offers a quick, facile solution to that dilemma. His Handbook for Executors and Administrators of Estates is short, concise and easily read. While not comprehensive, it provides sound advice for anyone called upon to handle the business affairs for a deceased person.

Bowyer covers many of the ordinary details related to managing the estate of a loved one. He notes that planning a funeral and seeing to the administration of an estate is thrust upon a person often with little notice. The intent of this handbook is to prepare a person to accept such responsibilities. Actually, reading this pamphlet will bring to mind so many other aspects of end time planning that it will work well as the beginning point for a thoughtful person to organize their affairs and leave guidance for their family in the event of their own death.

The Handbook for Executors and Administrators of Estates offers a practical, common sense approach to a sensitive and emotional situation. Bowyer discusses in matter of fact language such topics as choosing a funeral home, organ donor practices, embalming and cremation.

The author also introduces the reader to some of the legal and financial questions facing the administrator of an estate. Did the deceased leave a will? Is there life insurance? Are there retirement death benefits to be accounted for? Bowyer is careful to acknowledge that he is not offering legal or financial advice. He counsels wisely that a reader should consult with their own legal or financial advisor where necessary. But Bowyer does well in helping the reader recognize those times when such advice might be needed.

Bowyer is especially good at the thoughtful details that may not readily come to mind in the emotionally charged situation following the death of a family member, such as thank-you cards, mail addressed to the deceased and presidential recognition for veterans. Also of help are several addresses and websites where the reader can obtain more information.

Not intended to be a comprehensive guide to administering an estate, this book is a pretty good beginning place for someone who has been entrusted with this delicate and essential task.

John Michael Senger