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April 2014 Archives

Pay attention to details when addressing digital estate assets

When we first sit down to think about our estate plan and consider our assets, the things that come to mind are assets like a home, a car, and a retirement account. Yet, in this day and age our assets are much more varied and most people will have belongings not just in the tangible sense, but also in the digital realm. Digital assets are things like social media accounts, online banking accounts, and blogs. Mostly we think of these as holders of our photos and conversations with loved ones, but they can be much more than that. 

Avoiding common estate planning mistakes

Estate planning is a complex process, and that is why it is advisable to seek help from a professional from start to finish. As we discussed in our last post about the woman whose will was ineffective because she downloaded it offline and did not seek additional advice, these types of mistakes can render a lifetime of careful planning null. There are few common mistakes that people may make when they first set out to create an estate plan, and we’ll talk about a few of those in this post. 

Online will form proves ineffective for woman

A judge reviewing the validity of a will and determining how to distribute a woman’s assets said that the case, which involved a “E-Z Legal Form”, should be a cautionary tale to others. The will in this case was printed using a website selling forms for individuals to fill out themselves, so the woman created her own will. Without the legal expertise or guidance to know she was missing something, she did not include what is known as a residuary clause, which is a line in the will that provides for any leftovers or overlooked assets not specifically mentioned. The form will had instructed the woman to list all of her assets, which she left to her sister or if her sister was not alive, then to her brother.

Are we headed for an inheritance boom?

The aging and retirement of the baby boom generation seems to be all over the news these days, as our most populous generation’s aging process has impacts everywhere from healthcare to driving safety to a greater need for assisted living. Another big area of impact that economics anticipate from the baby boom generation is in the transfer of wealth to their children. Referred to as an “inheritance boom” many believe that the self-made generation of the 1950s and 60s are poised to bestow significant wealth upon their families when they pass away.

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