“Managing Family Trusts” is a 355-page, nuts-and-bolt guide by Robert Rikoon. Packed with real-world examples, the book steers financial advisers through the confusing, changing trust industry.

Rikoon says there is an opportunity for financial advisers to help heirs “take control of their trusts from old-line, nonperforming, noncooperative and noncommunicative banks.” As such, the book is ideal for the broker who is strongly considering moving into the field of family trusts. It's packed with information on topics such as the psychology of trust beneficiaries, the mechanics of moving a trust and trust technology.

Trusts, Rikoon says, are fluid. “You can't do a proper job of planning for a client's estate unless you understand the likelihood of change in asset class values and risk verses return.”

Managing family trusts takes a peculiar combination of skills, so Chapter 17 (“Is the Trust Business Appropriate for an Advisor?”) helps determine whether an adviser is equipped to succeed. The chapter concludes with a simple, two-page personal values questionnaire.

“Managing Family Trusts: Taking Control of Inherited Wealth” (ISBN 047132115X), by Robert Rikoon with Larry Waschka, is published by John Wiley & Sons. It costs $49.95 at retail and online bookstores nationwide.