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 to Leave Property to a Special Needs Trust
If you create a special needs trust for a loved one, you will probably fund the trust substantially after your death.
Choosing a Trustee for a Special Needs Trust
Who will manage your loved one's special needs trust after you're gone?
Executing a Will
Executing a will is the technical term for signing a will and making it legally binding.
Special Needs Trusts: The Trustee's Job
Special Needs Trust: The Trustee's Job Learn what you'll need to do as the trustee of a special needs trust.
Testamentary Trusts
A testamentary trust is a type of trust that does not go into effect until the grantor (the person who made the trust) dies.
Residuary Beneficiaries
When making a will or trust, you can name specific beneficiaries to receive specific items, and you can name residuary beneficiaries to get everything else.
Sample Shared Living Trust
This sample living trust uses fictional names and situations.
Sample Special Needs Trusts
Here's an example of what a special needs trust might look like.
What is Per Stirpes?
“Per stirpes” is a term used in wills to describe how property should be distributed when a beneficiary (who has children) dies before the will maker. Here’s how per stirpes works.
Texas Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney: What You Need to Know
Why do you need a living will and medical power of attorney in Texas? If you become unable to direct your own medical care