As parents, we spend our lives caring and providing for our children. However, many of us lack the foresight to create a plan that will ensure our children are supported even after we are gone. Parents neglect to handle their estates and affairs during their lifetime and leave their grieving children drowning in paperwork and tough decisions. It is even more demanding and grueling for stepchildren and members of blending families to sort through these estates. As a member of a blended family himself, tax attorney Paul Hood has pooled his personal and professional knowledge to create this comprehensive guide to estate planning for blended families. In Yours, Mine & Ours, Hood offers real-world advice while cover crucial topics such as:

  • Property Ownership
  • Documents for Planning
  • Important Payers in Planning
  • Challenges One will Face
  • Words of Wisdom

 When nearly 70% of estate plans yield unfavorable results for the family, the need for a meticulous estate plan cannot be overstated. Hood’s guide to estate planning will allow individuals to rest assured that their families are provided for thoroughly.

Praise for Yours, Mine & Ours

“The traditional nuclear family is no longer the norm—families today are made up of step-parents and have many forms of membership. Estate and wealth planning has to take these into consideration and include multiple members. This handbook is a guide to how to do this, and deal with the new reality of the blended and non-traditional family. I learned so much from it.” —Dennis Jaffe, Senior Research Fellow, BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors 

Paul Hood’s book, Yours, Mine, and Ours proves once again that Paul is a master at making complex information understandable and assembling a vast amount of essential information and boiling it down to an easily readable resource.  You will find Paul’s book to be practical, comprehensive, and a terrific guide to the perplexities of identifying and addressing the multiplicity of issues modern nontraditional families face in accumulating and conserving and distributing wealth and providing financial security to loved ones and charitable organizations that will help you achieve your goals.


Steve Leimberg

Former Publisher

Leimberg Information Services, Inc.

Yours, Mine & Ours: Estate Planning for People in Blended or Stepfamilies by L. Paul Hood, Jr., Esq. is an essential read. While the majority of families are blended or non-traditional, and a small number intact traditional families, most estate planning articles, lectures and resources still use as their model, a traditional intact family. This book explores and in practical detail how planning can and often should be modified to address the reality of what the now typical American family faces. A key problem with many estate plans, even those that have been crafted well from a technical perspective, is mishandling or ignoring the human elements of planning. This practical resource will provide you with guidance you can use. I highly recommend this book. 

Martin M. Shenkman

Martin M. Shenkman, PC

“Paul Hood has one of the greatest minds in the estate planning industry.  I am a huge fan of his work and consider him a close friend.  He has authored countless books and articles and lectured nationally on estate planning for many years.  Any book authored by Paul is a must-read!” 

Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished), Oshins & Associates, Las Vegas NV

Paul Hood’s book “Yours, Mine & Ours”, for blended families, is long overdue, and a valuable resource for estate and financial planners. It is also a book that blended families should read before they start their financial planning. “Prototypical Paul Hood”, peels back the onion and gives us everything we need to know to communicate and create effective estate plans for blended families. This book is filled with examples, strategies, action steps, and a host of “what if’s” which is a hallmark of Paul’s work. Paul has been discussing this subject for 25 years and now he shares all of it through his prolific explanations and suggestions. It is another Paul Hood classic in that he brings up issues and scenarios that others do not. A must read and resource every planner should have in their library.   

Thomas J. Perrone, CLU, CIC, New England Consulting Group of Guilford, Inc.,  

Paul Hood, Jr.’s book Yours, Mine & Ours: Estate Planning for People in Blended or Stepfamilies is an incredible resource with common sense information and insightful planning strategies that can easily be put into practice. Paul addresses the unique issues associated with planning for blended and stepfamilies. All of us need to focus some additional energy to the reality of today’s families and take to heart that the paradigm many of us were educated in no longer exists. True professionals need to adapt to today’s world and not bring yesterday’s solutions to today’s problems. Paul’s wisdom is extraordinarily helpful and is a must for advisors.

Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished)

Keebler & Associates, LLP

If you are a member of a blended family this is the hand book to enable your estate plan to assure that your financial wealth will lead to your family’s future well being. Read it, follow its wisdom and practices and smile. 

James(Jay)E. Hughes Jr, Co- Author of “Complete Family Wealth” and “Family:The Compact Among Generations”

Paul Hood has done it again. He has an uncanny ability to take the most complicated estate planning situations and make them comprehensible. This book is a must for anyone in a stepfamily situation who wants to be knowledgeable and empowered to make effective decisions for the future of your family’s well being as well as the family’s wealth. Paul provides relevant examples and easy to follow action steps throughout the book to assist you in taking the actions necessary to have an efficient and cost-effective estate planning experience.

Emily Bouchard

Family Dynamics Coach

Paul Hood is the most thoughtful estate planning attorney.  Not only does his book provide solid guidance for the planning process for “blended” families, but he does it in a clear and non-judgmental way.  Those who follow his suggestions will be rewarded with a much better path to take in the planning process.  Following his advice will put individuals in a much better position to deal with their advisers and to help avoid the typical problems that arise for those with blended families. Anyone in such a situation (and there are so many) will benefit from Yours, Mine & Ours.

Jonathan Blattmachr, Esq., Retired Partner, Milbank Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, New York, New York, and co-founder of Interactive Legal Services, a legal document assembly system

Estate planners understand what Tolstoy meant when he said that “every happy family is the same; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”  Blended families in particular manage to find many ways to be unhappy.  They always involve people who have suffered loss, typically by death or divorce.  Estate planning for these families can be especially difficult.  The best way to deal successfully with these special problems is for the client to understand what the problems are and, ideally, why they exist.  Then, the client can work with the estate planner to achieve a truly successful estate plan.  Paul Hood’s book, “Yours, Mine & Ours: Estate Planning for People in Blended or Stepfamilies” should be required reading for clients with blended families.  Reading this volume will enable these clients to take a meaningful part in achieving a successful estate plan.

Howard Zaritsky, Esq., author of several estate planning treatises

Buy-Sell Agreements represents over 30 years of work and study of buy-sell agreements for closely-held or family businesses of all shapes and sizes. I’ve drafted or edited hundreds of buy-sell agreements and reviewed over a 1000 more. In my opinion, it’s the hardest agreement to draft and get right. Buy-Sell Agreements will define what I mean by a buy-sell agreement, identify the three types of buy-sell agreements, describe what I mean by a “triggering event,” describe the tax consequences of a buyout and much, much more!

Buy-Sell Agreements truly is a labor of love. My family was negatively impacted by a poorly drafted buy-sell agreement, and I possess incredible passion around this subject to hopefully prevent my readers from suffering needlessly from a poor buyout provision. It’s truly the first book of its kind written for the lay audience to explore the depths of buy-sell agreements as deeply as I go in this book.

Buy-Sell Agreements is chock-full of examples of real-world buy-sell situations so that it hopefully is easy to follow along. I wrote this book for you!!!

Won’t you join me on an exploration of buy-sell agreements?

Praise for Buy-Sell Agreements

I have long said that one of the most difficult tasks of estate planning council is to impress the client with the significance and urgency of action.   In no case is that statement truer than with a business with multiple owners. There are times a third-party influencer – such as a nationally known expert author – can help.

Getting out of a business and getting the most out of the business at the same time is no easy trick. I can state with certainty and experience that the harmonious transition from one set of business owners to another is both difficult and uncertain and that the process is fraught with impediments both expected and unanticipated.  Paul’s book, written from a “standing over your shoulder” point of view, can be the impetus for client action.  A carefully considered buy-sell agreement is like a parachute; the time to strap one on is before you need it and while you are still on the ground.
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Paul’s book minces no words about the costs of a buy-sell and directly addresses the downsides and alternatives. It provides the reader with a thorough discussion of the various types of buy-sell agreements – and the legal devices, tools, and techniques that can augment or complement the buy-sell.  I particularly liked Paul’s chapter on Restriction, Transfers, Rights, and Options.   Covering all contingencies is essential.  Yet all too often, a right of first refusal, right of first offer, right of last look, tag along put option rights, drag along call option rights, “Russian roulette” “Texas shoot out”, or “Dutch Auction” solutions are not even considered.

The book does a particularly good job with describing both commonly inserted and often unfortunately omitted provisions regarding buy-sell triggering events.  Death and voluntary withdrawals, retirement and lifetime sales are obvious provisions.  But long-term disability, divorce, involuntary terminations (with or without cause), improper sharing of confidential information or competition, malfeasance or defalcation, bankruptcy or experience of foreclosure, loss of professional license, attempts to encumber interests or transfers in contravention of the agreement, attempts to terminate S status are among the other often overlooked provisions that the book covers.

Paul discusses the most essential funding tools for Buy-Sells, life and disability insurance, as well as installment arrangements in much more detail than many other resources.  He covers the problems of each as well as the “fixes” to those problems.  For example, in his discussion of installment sales provisions in a buy-sell, there are extensive comments on interest, security pledges, personal guarantees, acceleration of promissory notes, loan restrictions, releases, and claw-back provisions.

Since Paul has written extensively on valuation, his chapter on valuations is exceptionally helpful to both clients and professionals, particularly in getting clients to be realistic about the value of his/her/their interest.  The book covers the pros and cons of the set (Schedule A) method, the formula method, the appraisal method, and various hybrids.  It goes into detail on the selection of an appraiser or appraisers and the make-or-break issues of the “as of” date, the standard of value, the premise of value, the level of value, and a special valuation provision for situations where there is a deadlock on important issues.

There is an entire chapter for the lay reader on “Common Errors in Buy-Sell agreements and yet another on the same topic specifically for professionals. Sadly, there are many items covered and all too many of them are often found in agreements drafted by inexperienced, slovenly, or unprofessional draftspersons.  So the following chapter, Working With Professional Advisors, is well placed and is a no-nonsense guide to evaluating and selecting professional advisors (and a great guideline for who you should be).  The questions clients should be asking you are there and hopefully, even before you read this chapter, you’ll have the answers.
The book ends with a very useful 9-page Buy-Sell Agreement Review Checklist and yet another checklist for other complementary documents.

BUY-SELL AGREEMENTS should be both a tool you use to help selected clients understand the importance of a buy-sell and the urgency of implementing and fully funding one and a first line quality control resource for you, the professional.  For the just starting in practice professional, this is a terrific resource. In fact, practitioners should consider buying this book to give to clients who own business interests.


– Steve Leimberg is Publisher of LISI. He is co-author with Howard Zaritsky of the treatise TAX PLANNING WITH LIFE INSURANCE: ANALYSIS AND FORMS 2ND EDITION.   He is also the creator, with Dr. Robert T. LeClair, and Vincent Lackner, of NumberCruncher Estate and Financial Planning Software.

In the course of a single year, estate planning has been directly affected by numerous, significant revisions to the law. When rules change, every estate planner must stay completely up-to-date with all the opportunities—and pitfalls—arising from the new legislation.
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The Tools & Techniques of Estate Planning, 19th edition, applies the trusted Tools & Techniques approach to all aspects of modern estate planning, enabling you to:

  • Help your clients plan every aspect of their estate, including tax, investment, insurance, and estate administration decisions
  • Help your clients effectively preserve their assets under current law
  • Handle a wide variety of estates and specific circumstances
  • Save significant amounts of time with exclusive estate planning tools

In addition to everything that made the first eighteen editions of The Tools & Techniques of Estate Planning so effective and popular, this new edition delivers several enhancements including:

  • Cover-to-cover updates to reflect changes in tax code that were enacted in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • A new chapter on planning techniques that utilize the new Section 199A Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction
  • Significantly updated chapters on trust planning and income tax considerations in estate planning

This book features easy-to-understand, real-world examples from expert authors on what techniques are best suited for a wide variety of circumstances, and equally important advice on how to avoid future problems. Readers will learn the most important issues and planning techniques to help clients plan every aspect of their estate. In these pages you’ll also find reliable, practice-based analyses of hundreds of recent cases and rulings, helping you assist your clients in making the best decisions for themselves and for their families.

Select Articles & Additional Co-authored Works

Reciprocal Trust Doctrine and Joint SLATS: Future IRS Happy Hunting Ground?

Considerations for philanthropic vehicle decisions

Property or Financial Powers of Attorney

Autopsy of a Gift Gone Bad: Lessons Learned

How to Avoid Common Sources of Drafting Errors

Innovative Trust Designs Better Serve Inheritors

Defined Valuation  Clauses—From Theory to Implementation

Defined Value Gifts and Sales Under the Microscope: What’s Possible and What’s Not?

The Human Side of Estate Planning Part 3

The Human Side of Estate Planning: Part 2

The Human Side of Estate Planning: Part 1

Thirty-two Core Beliefs

Issues in Income Shifting

“Defined Valuation Clauses-From Theory to Implementation,” co-author with Renee Gabbard, Estate Planning (September 2019)

“Issues in Income Shifting: What’s Past is Prologue,” Trusts & Estates (September 2019)

“Autopsy of a Gift Gone Bad: Parts I and II,” 30 Planned Giving Today Nos. 1-2 (January and February 2019)

”The Human Side of Estate Planning,” Parts 1-3; Trusts & Estates (July, August, and October 2018)

“How to Avoid Common Sources of Drafting Errors,” Estate Planning (July 2018)

“Innovative Trust Designs Better Serve Inheritors,” co-author with Richard A. Oshins, Esq., 44 Estate Planning No. 6 (June 2017), pp. 3-11.

“32 Core Beliefs,” Trusts & Estates (May 2017), pp. 45-54.

 “Psychological Factors in Estate Planning,” co-author with John J. Guerin, Ph.D., Chapter 18, Financial Behavior: Players, Services, Products, and Markets (Oxford University Press 2017) 

“Anatomy of an LLC Operating Agreement: The Fundamentals for Valuation Analysts,” The Value Examiner (Sept./Oct. 2012, pp. 24-29).

“Estate of Gallagher: The Rest of the Story,” co-author with Timothy R. Lee, Valuation Strategies (Vol. 15, No. 3 Jan./Feb. 2012 pp. 4-13)

 “Gallagher Estate v. Commissioner Valuation Issues: a la Carte or Prix Fixe,” co-author with Timothy R. Lee, Business Valuation Alert (Vol. 12 Issue No. 4 Oct. 2011)

“Estate Planning for Couples: Should it Be a Solo or a Duet?” co-authored with Emily Bouchard, Forbes (April 10, 2020)

“Reviewing Business Appraisal Reports: The Devil is in the Details,” Tax Management Estates Gifts and Trusts Journal (August 2011)

“Must Synergistic Buyers be Considered in Fair Market Value Analysis?” Valuation Strategies Vol. 13, No. 6, pp. 28-33 (2010)

“Who Says Appraisers Agree on Everything? Ten Issues That Affect Valuations (Parts One and Two),” Valuation Strategies Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. and Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 27-31 (2008)

“Hermeneutic for Evaluation, Selection and Design of Estate Planning Tools and Techniques,” Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal, pp. 155-175 (May 12, 2005)

“The Initial Estate Planning Interview,” 27 ACTEC Journal 297 (2002) 

“Defined Value Gifts: Does IRS Have it all Wrong?” 28 Estate Planning No. 12, pp. 582-591 (2001)

“Did the IRS Answer the Wrong Defined Value Gift Question?” Probate Practice Reporter (Part 1-Aug. 2001; Part 2-Sept. 2001).

“The Initial Estate Planning Client Interview,” 2 CCH Journal of Practical Estate Planning No. 4, pp. 32-41 (Aug./Sept. 2000),

“10% Remainder Interest Requirement Poses Sticky Drafting Problems,” Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 146-150 (May-June 1999).

“It’s Not Easy to Draft a Testamentary Charitable Remainder Trust,” Charitable Gift Planning News (October 1998)

Editor, The Louisiana Estate Planner, Vol. 20- (p. 1041-); co-editor (with Gerald LeVan, Esq.), Vol. 17, No. 12 – Vol. 19, No. 12 (pp. 842-1040); special editor (with Gerald LeVan, Esq. and Carey J. Messina, Esq.), Vol. 17, No.3 – Vol. 17, No. 11 (pp. 770-841).

“Trust Anxiety: Revocable Trusts in Louisiana,” 39 La. Bar Journal 574 (1991)

“Legislature Puts Trap in State Tax ‘Cookie Jar,’” 38 La. Bar Journal 415 (1990)

“Fifth Circuit Symposium: Federal Taxation,” 35 Loyola Law Review 493 (1989)