Testimonials

What others have said about
Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits

Elsewhere on this website, I have told you what I think of Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits, but since I am the author, I may be a bit biased. Now you don’t have to take my word for it. In honor of the publication of the 7th edition of Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits, I am posting here a collection of the testimonials I have received over the years for prior editions, from lawyers, CPAs, financial planners, planned giving officers, life insurance folks, investment advisors, and even a few retirees and beneficiaries.

“I have just purchased and read your [7th] edition, and it has already paid for itself by answering several of my questions.” – Estate planning attorney, Illinois

“I consider your work the “bible” on the subject matter.”
Richard L. Furry, Esq.
Dayton, OH

“Your book is our first choice for reference when we have questions. It is extremely helpful!”
Deborah Wilson, RP
Registered Paraplanner
Memphis, TN

“I have found your book very useful and informative.”
Neil Richardson

“It really is the “Bible” of attorneys advising folks who have retirement accounts. When I’m trying to convince some recalcitrant institution to do what I want for a client, usually all I have to do is say “Well, according to Choate’s book…” and I get what I want.”
H. Amos Goodall, Jr., CELA

“While I know not every so called IRA expert agrees with all your positions on everything, your book usually provides the answers and techniques I am looking for. Thanks for being a GREAT resource.”
Scott

“Thank you so much for your advice and your efforts in revising your book – most valuable reference!”
Eunha K. Thayer

“This book is excellent and one every attorney who advises clients regarding their estate plan should have close at hand.”
Thomas C. Courtway, General Counsel
University of Central Arkansas
Conway, AR

“In that one seldom gets the opportunity to correspond with an author I would like to take this opportunity and say that after considerable personal research and legal fees your book is by far the best investment I’ve made and has been helpful beyond description. It is the only coherent, organized source available and has made clear to me (but maybe not the attorneys) that there are a number of areas where there is no law and common practice and that at best chaos reigns.”
James C. Spinks, Realtor
Tulsa, OK

“I really enjoy your book and have found it to be an invaluable resource for our practice.”
Timothy K. Babcock
Bluffton, IN

“A client just left me a voice mail message with a question regarding IRA distribution from an estate of which he is executor. Your book made it possible for me to answer quickly and sound erudite in the process. I am most grateful!”
Smoky Hicks
Atlanta, GA

“Your Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits book has proven to be perhaps my most used resource, and I am very grateful that this publication exists.”
Thomas F. McGuire, Esq.
Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Chicago, IL

“Usually it is very easy to find things through either the index or table of contents! Thank you so much for writing the book Life and Death… it is an easy to use and wonderful resource.”
Jayne E. Gardner, JD
Mayo Foundation
Rochester, MN

“Our firm has copies of your two books, both of which we consult frequently for answers to questions relating to retirement plans and QPRTs.”
Robert G. Petix, Jr., Esq.
Boston, MA

“I have found your book Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits invaluable (as has most of the estate planning community nationwide – thank you!)”
Brad Richter, Esq.
New York, NY

“Your book is the finest work on this impossibly difficult subject ever published.”
Michael A. Nishkian
Long Beach, CA

“Both your books are superb resources and no advanced estate planner should be without them (in my opinion).”
Mark D. Munson, Esq.
Drach Law Firm
Wausau, WI

“Natalie Choate’s book is the best value I have seen in a long time. Ms. Choate summarizes matters beautifully.”
William R. Hayes

“Natalie Choate’s book, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits is, in my opinion, the most complete and understandable book that has been written on this subject. It is a very nice resource for this area.”
Pat Agnew, Esq.

“We have really benefited from your excellent book on Life and Death Planning For Retirement Benefits.
Tom Aiken

“I’m glad I made the investment in Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits. Having the technical knowledge that your book provides helps me stand apart from other planners, which helps in gaining referrals from CPAs and lawyers.”
Joseph Aiello
Financial Planner and Life Insurance Professional
Royal Oak, MI

“Incidentally, I have found your book to be the most useful one on the subject I have found yet. It has made an extremely complex subject much easier to understand.”
William O. Allen, Esq.
Marcoux, Allen, Abbott, Schomer & Bower, PC
Jackson, MI

“I have your book and it is by far the best reference material I have utilized in my practice.”
Brenda K. Ashwork, CFP
Financial Network
Albuquerque, NM

“I love your book and use it as a resource very often! I have also recommended it to several colleagues.”
Steve Athanassie, CFP
Trademark Capital
New Port Richey, FL

“I use your book on planning for retirement benefits. It is brilliantly written and the best resource available.”
John Staser
Evansville, IN

“Although I’ve lost track of the number of revisions of your book that we’ve owned, the current incarnation is nothing short of inspirational!”
Steve Pollock
Collingswood, NJ

“Thanks for preparing the best resource available in this complicated area; we couldn’t practice without it!”
Bryan E. McAllister

“Your book is very informative and usually answers all of my questions.”
Kristin L. Archibald

“I’ve just received your new book and it is excellent and I’ve already used the beneficiary designation form. That alone was worth the cost of the book!”
Robert G. Condie, P.S.
Bellevue, WA

“Your book Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits, has always been something of a bible to our firm.”
John A. Gebauer

“Your book is a thrill to me.”
Gene Balliett
Financial Planner
Winter Park, FL

“Your book is wonderful and has helped me tremendously!”
Stephanie B. Casteel
Private Financial Advisor
Atlanta, GA

“I like your book. I find a lot of use for it.”
David Cole, Estate Planning Attorney
Hyannis, MA

“Your book is excellent and has helped me in my practice.”
Kevin Frank Danyi, Esq.
Bethlehem, PA

“You had a great book before and your improvements have made it even better.”
Daniel C. Dennehy, Esq.

“Thank you again for a great resource.”
John E. Fish

“Your book has been very helpful to me. It’s the best resource for learning about this subject.”
Dave Foster, Financial Planner and CPA
Cincinnati, OH

“Invaluable to my estate planning practice.”
Douglas S. Freeman, Esq.

“We do a lot of estate planning for retirement distributions and Natalie Choate’s book is the best source I’ve found. It’s very well done.”
John Fulton, Estate Planner
President, Legacy Financial Group, Inc.
Bloomington, MN

“I recently sat down, over a weekend, and read your book cover to cover (well, all except the Roth IRA chapter). I must tell you, it is simply wonderful. This is an area that I have found very difficult to fully pull together, and your book was not only technically correct, it was as readable and understandable as almost any tax book I have seen.”
Michael L. Graham, Esq.
Dallas, TX

“I consider your book to be one of the most valuable publications in my library.”
Grace Ghezzi, CPA
Syracuse, NY

Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits has already proven its value as an essential addition to my library.”
Jerrold Gold
Oakland, CA

“I have purchased your excellent book on retirement benefits and use it as a source book for certain aspects of my estate planning course.”
Richard D. Gould
Professor of Law
Boston, MA

“Natalie Choate’s book, is excellent as a practical solution oriented effort regarding planning for the proper disposition of retirement funds or other kinds of IRD assets. Natalie is clear-thinking and her book is a nice reflection of that.”
Roland Gray, III, Esq.
Boston, MA

“During the course of administering Mother’s estate, I have referred repeatedly to your materials. They were enormously helpful.”
Beneficiary
Dallas, TX

“Your books are a God send for us mid-level associates. I don’t know how I could have navigated these complicated questions without it.”
Michael Hong, Esq.

“I find your book invaluable and look forward to each new edition.”
Thomas O. Hiscott, Esq.
Heckscher, Teillon, Terrill & Sager
West Conshohocken, PA

“I enjoyed your book Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits… at least as much as one can possibly enjoy tax codes, estate planning, etc. I found the book well worth my time, you did a splendid job.”
Peter D. Haller, CFP
NBD Bank
Travers City, MI

“Recently, an associate left our firm. His office, generally overstuffed with volumes upon volumes of tax treatises and the like, is left perfectly intact, except for one item — your book. He apparently took that with him, so we have to order a new copy.”
David M. Hirsberg
Estate Planning Lawyer
Savannah, GA

“I am the proud owner of your book, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits. As an attorney having read many, many books on numerous technical subjects, I want to compliment you on the clarity of your writing, the significantly useful substance and the excellent technical reference that you provide. I carry the book with me on a regular basis. Thank you.”
Steven Kadish

“It is an indispensable resource, and I can’t tell you how often I have found it a useful tool. There is nothing else out their quite like it.”
Lawrence P. Katzenstein, Esq.
St. Louis, MO

“Your book has been a great resource these past couple of years.”
Emily Kellndorfer
Ann Arbor, MI

“…my bible on retirement plan questions. Very thoughtful analysis of the issues and the thorough coverage of topics in your book. I will continue to refer to it as an excellent resource.”
Carol J. Kersten
Senior Assoc. Director of Planned Giving
Stanford, CA

”I have heard you speak many times and use your book as a bible.”
Kathy Klein, CFP
Strong Private Client
Manomonee Falls, WI

“My whole family read your book: my siblings, my parents, even my parents’ siblings. My father instructed my mother ‘If I die, call Natalie Choate before you do anything else.’”
Beneficiary
Los Angeles, CA

“I just purchased your book Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits. Now I know why it is called the “bible” of retirement planning! What a wonderful resource!”
Ann Marie Levin, J.D., LL.M
Bryn Mawr, PA

“I absolutely love your book.”
Lisa Ludwig, Esq.

“Congratulations on a monumental achievement. Before I used your prior book as the Bible and I was thrilled to have an updated copy. I also frequently refer clients and fellow professionals to your book”
James Lange, CPA/Attorney
Pittsburgh, PA

“Your work has helped me a great deal in my practice and your new book has been great.”
Carter W. Leinster, President
Triad Planning, Inc.
Greensboro, NC

Reading this book is like sitting and talking with someone in your living room — which is amazing for such a highly technical topic.”
Judith Holender Loeb
Estate Planning Attorney
Rochester, NY

“I think your book is terrific, very informative in an extremely complex area, especially re: trusts and beneficiaries.”
Ivan Lawner, Esq.
White Plains, NY

“Your book is like a bible to me!”
Rob Moody
Compass Advisors LLC
Atlanta, GA

“Your book is wonderful.”
Jay N. Michelman, Esq.
Springfield, MA

“Your book, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits, has been of invaluable help to my company and its life and security representatives.
Christopher L. Morgan, J.D., LLM
Kansas City Life Insurance Company
Kansas City, MO

“It has proven to be a remarkably useful little reference in just the one week it has graced our library shelves here at S&K.”
Michael P. Morley, Esq.
Stark & Knoll
Akron, OH

“I cannot imagine trying to do this stuff without your help. How you’ve managed to produce a book with such breadth of information and depth of detail – and, at the same time, of such delicious clarity – is quite beyond me. On my best day, I can’t write as well as you do. Are you SURE you are a lawyer?”
John L. Olsen, CLU, ChFC
Olsen Financial Group
St. Louis, MO

“Your book is fantastic. (My lawyer lent it to me).”
Retired doctor
Minnesota

“Your book is FANTASTIC!!!”
Susan J. Petroski
Financial Planning Manager
Sagemark Consulting
Rochelle Park, NY

“Since I wrote to you last, your book, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits, arrived. I find it to be helpful and well-written. Thank you for writing it.”
John Paul Parks, Esq.
Lakeland, FL

“Your book is absolutely wonderful.”
Paul Rosenberg, Esq.

“Thank you for producing such an excellent book to guide the practitioner.”
Norman J. Rubinoff, Esq.
Spengler Nathanson P.L.L.
Toledo, OH

“It is an indispensable part of my practice. It is used by me and our paralegal staff as we practice exclusively in elder law, estate planning and probate. It is the most readable book on the subject.”
Stephen Spano

“From one ACTEC Fellow to another, I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for writing Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits. I have purchased the last two editions and have found them to be invaluable.”
Jonathan M. Schmerling, Esq.
Cohen & Grigsby, P.A.
Pittsburgh, PA

“Her book is an indispensable tool for any one who works in this area.”
Scott Schattenfield
Charlotte, NC

”The ‘Bible’ of retirement and estate planning.”
Duke Schneider, Esq.
West Chester, PA

“I again want to compliment you on the most recent edition of Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits.” I really appreciate your thoroughness – including citations – and the manner in which you organized the material.”
David A. Schwandt, J.D., CFP, CLU, ChFC
Minneapolis, MN

“Keep up your excellent work! My department loves your book which has become our bible for dealing with retirement benefits in estate planning and administration.”
Sandi Sherman
Morristown, NJ

“Your book has made a complex subject understandable.”
Ray Sitar, Esq.
New Haven, CT

“Your book is a hot item in our legal offices and the legal offices of all of our colleagues.”
Twila Slesnick

“We use your book all the time and are very pleased with it.”
Jan Warner, Esq.
Columbia, SC

“The new book is excellent. Thanks for the great work.”
Mark A. Steibel
Cincinnati, OH

“Your book Life and Death Planning… is, in my opinion, and I have read them all, the best in the business.”
Kathleen Stephenson

“I think it’s one of the best books ever written. I use it as the bible for retirement distribution planning and I recommend it to everyone dealing with retirement plans.”
Diane K. Taylor, CFP

“I think it is the best resource on this topic I have seen.”
Wm. Lanier Thomas, Esq.
Fresno, CA

Almost every attorney to whom I mention your name tells me how much he or she values your book Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits.
Roberta J. Trudeau
The Jackson Group
Oak Grove, OR

“I have used your writings as resources since I was in graduate tax school in the late 1980’s. I just wanted to pass on to you how much I appreciate your sharing your uncanny ability to interpret the rules relating to qualified retirement plan distributions. As a planner, I find your book indispensable. Periodically, I run into a problem and think ‘Aha! I’ll bet Natalie did not address that in her book.’ I think my bets have always been wrong.”
Dirk A. Williams
Wealth Management Laison/Trust Officer
Wells Fargo Private Client Services
Missoula, MT

“The book has been a life saver!”
Paige Wolpert

“Thank you for taking the time to write such a valuable book. It has been immensely helpful when trying to understand such a difficult and complex area.”
Christina V. Winch, CFP
Appleton, WI

“By the way, I love this book!”
Kurt Zimmerman
Fort Lauderdale, FL

“I took it to Spain with me!”
Paul Bechard, Esq.
Virginia Beach, VA

“As a beginner to this area of practice I found your book to be easy to read and very well organized.”
Anthony G. Capozzi

“This book is terrific.”
Dennis M. Carson
Cincinnati, OH

“Your book has been very helpful. I’m really glad I purchased it at your seminar. Basic research takes you only so far. Your Chapter 6 [retirement benefits payable to trusts] was right on the money for me in a case I’m working on!”
CPA, Tennessee

“I like your book because your prose is clear and sharp, you anticipate the problems, and your examples take it down to the ‘nth’ degree.”
Retiree, Maryland

“As someone starting out in the business, I find your book extremely handy! I’m thankful someone like you had the time and energy to publish a book like this.”
GCR, Director of Research