Steven Strauss: What I really like to do is find a good book that’s available in paperback and read it. And then, if you can get an instructor or somebody who has experience teaching the material, go over it with them and make sure you understand what they’re talking about before you actually use it. That makes for a more effective learning process — not only because we want to learn this information but also because I have lost sleep when I have had students come back after class one day saying “I don’t know anything about this stuff! Why are we doing this?” They just didn’t seem interested in the subject matter. So, when they take my course… they want to learn something new.
Baker & McKenzie: If there was ever any topic that could be controversial between lawyers, how would you approach writing about estate planning vs wills vs trust? For example, many people choose trusts instead of having wills drawn up by their attorney since trusts are considered easier to update every year or two while wills require legal counsel at each generation change (i.e., birth). Which one do most attorneys prefer? Or which ones are most likely missed by most laymen during estate planning conversations with friends/family members/lovers/etc.?
Strosius: One thing people forget is that wills are very important too—and probably even more important than some of the other elements may think. Wills cover all your