Betsy Simmons Hannibal


Betsy Simmons Hannibal is a Nolo Senior Legal Editor specializing in Estate Planning. Her work centers around managing the editorial contributions to Quicken WillMaker & Trust

Estate planning books. Betsy also edits many of Nolo's best-selling estate planning books, including Make Your Own Living Trust, Plan Your Estate, Estate Planning Basics, How to Probate an Estate in California: A Step-by-Step Guide, Quick & Legal Will Book, and Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To.

Press contributions. Betsy regularly speaks with journalists who want to know more about estate planning and probate. Here is some of the content to which she has contributed:  End-of-Life-Planning Is a "Lifetime Gift" to Your Loved Ones (NPR's Life Kit), What Is Probate and Can You Avoid It? (HowStuffWorks), Probate Workarounds Can Save Your Heirs Time and Money (NerdWallet, syndicated by the AP), and A Brief Guide to Estate Planning, (Wirecutter, The New York Times).

Early career. Before joining Nolo, Betsy trained at two private law firms, as well as the San Francisco Superior Court and the Federal District Court of Northern California. She is a graduate of the Honors Lawyering Program at Golden Gate University School of Law, where she served as the research editor of the law review.

While she currently lives too far from her home state of California, she is enjoying the temperature variation provided by the mid-Atlantic seasons.

Articles By Betsy Simmons Hannibal

How Special Needs Trust Funds Can Be Used
The person serving as trustee of the special needs trust can usually pay for anything for the person with special needs, as long as the purchase is not against public policy or illegal and does n
Restrictions on Out-of-State Guardians for Minors
When naming guardians for your children in your will, it's usually best to name a guardian who lives relatively close to your child.
Living Trusts and Name Changes
I recently changed my name. Should I update my living trust?
Mental Health Care Decisions and Psychiatric Advance Directives
Most states define health care to include mental health, and most health care directives cover issues of mental health.
The Problem with Springing Powers of Attorney
You may have heard of “springing” powers of attorney—that is, powers of attorney that “spring” into effect when you become incapacitated.
What Is an Irrevocable Special Needs Trust?
What is an irrevocable special needs trust?
What Is a Testator?
What is a testator?
Using Statutory Will Forms
Statutory wills are wills created by a state legislature and written into state law.
What Is the Best Way to Update My Will?
What is the best way to update my will?
Estate Planning for Pets
You can plan to make sure that your pet has a good life after you die.