Granted, estate planning isn't exactly a subject for the best-seller list. But any business owner who doubts its urgency would do well to curl up one evening with any of these recommended books:

* Keep Uncle Sam (and Cousin George) from Devouring Your Estate (Capital Publishing, 800-847-4483, 1992, $19.95), by Stephen M. Rosenberg. Although somewhat lurid in its approach (there's even a dragon on the cover), this 305-page paperback uses breezy prose, case studies, and plenty of graphics to build a strong case for starting estate planning today. This is best suited for people still in the first stages of estate planning, since it's strongest in the basics.

* The Handbook of Estate Planning (McGraw-Hill, 800-262-4729, 1991, $39.95), by Robert A. Esperti and Renno L. Peterson, 283 pages, is less fun to read but makes up for it by providing an abundance of in-depth and financially sophisticated planning strategies that make sense in the post-tax-reform U.S. economy. This title is more appropriate for those who are relatively savvy on the subject.

* Preparing Your Family to Manage Wealth (Monterey Pacific Institute, 800-247-6553, 1992, $29.95), by Roy O. Williams, 190 pages, is invaluable for the entrepreneur whose focus is not only on minimizing taxes and maximizing inheritance value but on passing a business along to the kids. Sections on how to keep children informed and involved are particularly useful. -- Jill Andresky Fraser

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