For business owners contemplating an initial public offering (or setting up a trust), here's a good way to start: Plan Your Estate (Nolo Press, 800-992-6656, 1994, $24.95), by lawyers Denis Clifford and Cora Jordan. It's a hefty paperback that combines an exhaustive introduction to estate-planning legal issues with a real-world discussion of such matters as unequal property bequests to children, concerns of unmarried couples, and disinheritances.

Trusts often play an important role in the estate plans of entrepreneurs, and they also play an important role in this guide. Readers will find wonderfully clear discussions of such marital trusts as QTIPs and QDOTs, generation-skipping trusts, charitable trusts, and trusts for second or subsequent marriages. Skim the book before you consult an estate planner.