Library has plenty of books on legal advice for you

  • Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013 12:01 a.m.

SALISBURY — Fortunately legal matters are not a topic to which we frequently must give much thought. However, when the occasion arises, it is helpful to know that you can turn to Rowan Public Library for some of the most helpful, up-to-date legal “how to” books available. Although this column will focus on only a few of the newest books, there are many more and some of these will be listed at the end of the column.

The publisher of these top-notch books is Nolo, which, according to its website, began publishing legal books in 1971. In 40 years Nolo has evolved with the times, developing do-it-yourself products for the average consumer. Consumers and small business owners can handle many legal matters themselves with Nolo’s books. All are written in plain English, with step-by-step instructions that help get the job done. However, in each book there is a disclaimer that the text is not a substitute for personalized advice from a knowledgeable attorney.

It is difficult to find a law topic that these books do not cover. For example, if you are thinking about planning your will, establishing a trust, dealing with estate and gift taxes, avoiding probate and executing powers of attorney and living wills, we have books with the latest comprehensive and organized information in them.

The book “Plan Your Estate” by attorney Dennis Clifford encourages us all to do what we know we need to do and shows the step-by-step method of doing it. It covers everything from the basics to sophisticated tax savings strategies for people with estates ranging from the modest to the wealthy. Some of the topics that are demystified are: Probate avoidance, living wills, estate tax saving trusts, funerals and burials, federal estate and gift taxes, charitable remainder trusts and durable powers of attorney. The 11th edition is significantly revised to cover new federal estate tax laws and how they affect estate planning. It also covers new gift tax rules. As always, all laws and charts are updated.

“Make Your Own Living Trust” also by Clifford, not only covers the new tax laws on this subject but allows you to download forms from the Internet to help you with the project. When you create a living trust you can arrange for your property to bypass lengthy probate proceedings and go directly to the people you have designated. This book also contains the latest tax and legal information, including the federal estate law.

“The Trustee’s Legal Companion: A Step by Step Guide to Administering a Living Trust” is written by attorneys Liza Hanks and Carol Elizs Zolla. Being a trustee is an honor but it is also a huge task that can be stressful and confusing. This book will show you exactly how to proceed In this difficult job. As a very helpful addition, you are shown how to find free legal updates at

A sampling of some of the other new Nolo books the library has just acquired include “Divorce After 50,” “Nolo’s Quick LLC,” “Social Security Disability,” “Becoming a US Citizen,” “8 Ways to Avoid Probate,” “Long Term Care: How to Plan and Pay for It,” “Divorce and Money,” “Small Business Start Up Kit” and “Form a Partnership.” Please come to Rowan Public Library soon to discover our outstanding collection of legal help books.

Computer classes: For beginners — May 20, 7 p.m., South; May 21, 1 p.m., East (registration required, call 704-216-7731); May 23, 9:30 a.m., Headquarters. Classes are free. Sessions are about 90 minutes. Class size is limited and on a first come, first serve basis. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.

Rowan Public Library annual book sale: Headquarters, May 3 and 4, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; May 6, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sale items include fiction and non-fiction, hardbacks and paperbacks, DVDs, audiobooks and children’s books. Most items $2 and less.

JR’s Adventure Club: Headquarters, May 4, 11 a.m. JR’s Adventure Club and PAC Club will meet together in May. The club is open to all school age children. Light refreshments will be served. Call 704-216-8234 to learn more.

Dig into Reading this summer: Rowan Public Library and the Friends of RPL invite children of all ages to Dig Into Reading this summer. Sign your child up for a fun-filled summer of programs and reading. Preregistration begins on May 13 at all library locations for children ages 12 months to rising fifth-graders. Children will be able to earn prizes by reading throughout the summer. For more information please call your nearest RPL location.

Beneath the Surface teen summer reading: Teens will be exploring the underground through events, activities and reading. Preregistration begins on May 13 at all library locations for rising sixth- through 12th-graders. Each week teens will focus on exploring our underground world including mummies, gems and cities below the surface. Teens can earn library dollars to enter various raffles. For more information call 704-216-8234.

Spring photowalks: May 6, 6 p.m., East branch; May 13, 6 p.m., South branch; May 18, 10 a.m., headquarters. Photographers of all ages are invited to Spring Photowalk. Bring cameras, wear comfy walking shoes, and get ready to have fun. Registration is required. Register online at or call 704-216-8229.

Wayne Henderson in concert: Headquarters, May 23, 7 p.m. Henderson and Friends will play. Henderson’s guitar playing has been heard at Carnegie Hall, the White House and in Asia. The concert is free and all are welcome.

Book Bites Club: South (only), May 28, 6:30 p.m., “The Cookbook Collector” by Allegra Goodman. Book discussion groups for adults and children meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, please call 704-216-8229.

Library closings: May 25-27, all locations closed for Memorial Day.

Displays for April: headquarters, Older Americans month by Jo Kearns; South, student art by South Rowan High School art class; East, Winnie the Pooh by Kim Davis.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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