Month: December 2015

Using Bankruptcy to Protect Retirement Funds and Other Assets for Seniors

Using Bankruptcy to Protect Retirement Funds and Other Assets for SeniorsSeniors are facing several financial issues as they near retirement age — they are living longer and they are entering retirement with more debt. The financial crisis left many people struggling with debt. For those close to retirement, that debt may still be lingering. To make matters worse, seniors are entering retirement owing student debt and many owe substantial mortgage payments. For many seniors, the financial obligations result in working well beyond retirement age. For others, the debt is too overwhelming to handle on their own. They need a way to protect retirement funds while getting rid of the debt.

Using Retirement Funds to Pay Debts

Estate Planning in the Digital Age

Estate Planning in the Digital AgeWhen computers are being used in kindergarten classes to teach computer skills, it is a glaring sign that our society is fully immersed in the digital age. For some of us, we are completely paperless and perform all transactions online, store all records online, and rush to purchase the latest technology that simplifies our lives. For others, they are in-between jumping in feet first and wading into the digital age. The rest simply refuse to adopt technology and prefer to live as far off the grid as possible.

Regardless of your feelings on the subject, the fact remains that most of us will leave some type of digital footprint when we die. The digital age has forced estate planning professionals to develop new techniques to help estate executors and families identify assets and debts. Furthermore, some of those assets may be digital in nature which could affect how those assets are transferred.

Identifying Assets and Debts in the Digital Age

Facebook Legacy Contact – What Happens to my Facebook Account When I Die?

Facebook Legacy Contact - What Happens to my Facebook Account When I Die?Digital assets have become one of the leading problems in estate planning because attorneys are rushing to catch up with the technology and the laws governing who may have access to your online accounts once you pass. Most people now have multiple social media accounts that have a wealth of information they may want family and/or friends to have once they are gone. On the other hand, some people may have information in their social media accounts that they prefer to be deleted never to see the light of day by another person.

Therefore, in addition to providing for your family’s financial security, protecting your assets, and ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes, you must now consider what to do with your online social media accounts when you die. Facebook has made this a little easier for account holders.

Facebook Legacy Contact

Looking Back… and Forward: How To Go About Giving Your Estate Plan a Year-End Review

December 31 is quickly approaching, and many people use this time as an opportunity to reflect on the year that is nearly complete. These reflections may include new additions, losses, accomplishments or struggles. One way, though, in which your year-end reflections can provide significant value is by reviewing those changes in your life that have potential impacts on your estate plan, and ensuring that your plan is current, reflecting your life and goals as they now exist. If it has been more than three years, we recommend that you undertake a review of your plan.

Perhaps you’ve married, divorced, lost a loved one to death, gained a new family member or reconnected or reconciled with a long-lost loved one. Many people may recognize the need to update a will or trust to change their asset distribution provisions consistent with their new state of your affairs. Be aware, though, that this is not the only part of your plan that requires consideration. Your plan also includes successor trustees of your trusts and executors of your will. Are the people you named to those important roles when you signed your documents still the ones you prefer to perform those tasks?

Additionally, your plan likely includes a financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, a living will and perhaps other documents. Each of those documents names persons or entities who hold a special position of trust, regarding the management either of your wealth or your health care. As with your trustees and/or executors, you should consider whether the ones you’ve named are still your preferred agents.

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