Isabelle shares why working with friendly institutions is better for our clients.
Peace of mind is something that we’re always trying to achieve in our daily lives. We want to feel good about the choices that we’ve made, the interactions that we’ve had, and that we’ve told everyone we need to that we love them because we can’t predict what’s going to happen on any given day. Ultimately, it’s this inability to predict the future that unsettles us. The best way to have peace of mind about the unpredictable future is to have an estate plan that you can rely on.
In today’s world, everything is about customization you can subscribe to. There has been an upward trend in brands offering customized subscription services to improve your life. From skincare offerings like Curology, customized hair care from Function of Beauty, clothing and personal stylists through Stitch Fix, daily vitamins from Persona Nutrition, auto-ship through Prime Pantry, movies and TV show suggestions from Netflix, the list goes on and on. Being able to customize your experience or order, give feedback, and subscribe so you have one less thing on your to-do list, is what makes these services so popular. Our world has become so personalized that people joke about how long it takes to order a Starbucks drink and complain about Google ads that follow them around or appear after they’ve talked with someone about a product.
For those of us old enough to remember the science fiction of the 20th century, the year 2020 still sounds like a futuristic concept. But we’re living in it now and that means some parts of life that wouldn’t make a lick of sense to our disco, hair metal or boy band-loving younger selves are real factors that affect our day-to-day lives.
One of those futuristic concepts is our digital presence online. Between platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, digital communities like Reddit, Amazon accounts, cloud storage, email providers, and many other forms of internet accounts, many people have large online footprints that aren’t easily accessed or administrated by another should they die.
Your digital assets are important to consider in end-of-life and estate planning. Some aspects are important for family members to access because of legal or financial duties when settling an estate, such as bank accounts, credit cards, utility bills. Others are about the sort of things a family member posted or shared through social media and in online communities before they died. Perhaps a surviving family member wants to collect some of the photos their loved one posted on Facebook or Instagram or videos they shared on YouTube. Or maybe a family member would like to remove private or sensitive content that was shared publicly before death.
The end of each year is full of anticipation and trepidation for the next. And nothing quite causes the latter like knowing that the turning of the calendar brings with it all sorts of changes.
While running down the last few weeks in 2019, it’s prudent to look into tax and wealth management strategies worth pursuing before 2020 rolls around. Depending on your age and the stage of life you’re in, you might use this time to maximize your assets, distribute gifts and donations, or reorganize assets to get the most out of your retirement.
With 2020 fast approaching, take some time to ask yourself these questions about the state of your estate plan and any changes that may be required.
In this vlog, Kori shares how we differentiate between friendly and unfriendly institutions. At Family Estate Planning Law Group, we help you ensure you’re working with friendly institutions that respect your estate plan.
In case your life is slightly less inundated with Disney than mine and you missed this epic event, Frozen 2 came out recently. As the parent of two preschool-aged children, I can’t “escape it anymore.” Even our favorite brand of bread has pictures of Frozen on it. So, as you can imagine, I have been listening to “Let It Go” performed by Idina Menzel quite a lot recently. Right about now you might be wondering, what does Frozen possibly have to do with estate planning? That’s an excellent question; thanks for asking.
I am sure that many of you are familiar with Dateline or the Investigation Discovery Channel and the many stories they cover of murders. Whether you watch these hour-long or two-part dives into these complex cases or not, you are probably familiar with how addicting they can be or how your friends or family members are hooked. The Dateline of today’s generation is true crime podcasts. With the surge in popularity of true crime podcasts, people’s minds are filled with stories of real-life serial killers, kidnappers, and other notorious evildoers in our world. One of the underlying themes, when someone goes missing, is that no one ever has access to the missing person’s files fast enough to find them before something truly devasting occurs. The notoriety of “the first 48 hours” is not just a dramatic catchphrase, the first 48 hours are extremely critical in an investigation of someone who has gone missing.
Now even though most of us will not be missing because of kidnap or murder, we do need to prepare our families for when we are “missing” because of our death or disability. Therefore it is a good idea to not only prepare your estate planning documents to protect you and your family in the event of incapacitation or death, but you should also prepare “an if I go missing file” to help your family increase their chances of locating the things that you know or are taking care of. The exercise of which can actually be excellent in creating a file that would be extremely helpful for someone to have access to in the case of your death or incapacitation as well. One of my favorite podcasts, Crime Junkie, introduced me to the idea of and emphasizes the importance of an “if I go missing file” and the producers of the show provide a downloadable version you can fill out. One of my friends once asked me why I wanted to fill it out and if I planned to go missing, my response: no one plans to go missing. Just as you likely are not planning your death or incapacitation, you still want an estate plan and to document the things you know that others in your family do not.
Check out this first video of the FEPLG Vlog! We will be sprinkling vlogs into our regularly scheduled blog content. This week, Kristin shares why consolidation is key to successful estate planning.
Aging itself is difficult and is something many prefer to avoid thinking about. To compound aging complications, there are also many financial issues like outliving your retirement funds, financial exploitation, among other things. There are several unique financial issues that LGBTQ couples face. An article from Next Avenue, “Financial Considerations For LGBTQ Couples As They Age”, gives advice for aging LGBTQ couples.
The first piece of advice Next Avenue gives, is that while it is important for everyone to establish an estate plan, it is even more critical for LGBTQ individuals. You need a plan that clearly states how your assets are to be managed and by whom when you pass. You do not want to die and leave your partner unprotected from probate or from family members who feel they have a better claim to your assets than your partner. You will want to make sure that there is no questioning your wishes for your estate when you pass. If the plan is for you and your partner to take care of the other in the wake of one’s passing, you need to ensure there are provisions to care for the long-term needs. An estate plan that is always up-to-date ensures your assets are left to the beneficiaries of your choice.