An increasingly important issue in estate planning is how to handle a decedent’s digital assets, e.g., email and social media accounts, digital files and photographs stored in the cloud. Here’s what to do.
The following is a guest blog post by April E. Frisby of Frisby Law. April is a lawyer in Orange County who practices business and securities transactional law, as well as estate planning. April is also an adjunct law professor at Whittier Law School.
It can be hard to get folks to think about estate planning—especially the younger ones in the beginning stages of their careers. They believe that there will be many changes in their life before end-of-life planning becomes necessary or they think they don’t have enough money to worry about it. Or, perhaps most risky, they think they can just pick up a form at a stationary store or print it from a website and they’ll be all set. Hopefully the following points will help you convince folks that they need your expertise to get an estate plan in place now!
Every estate plan should consider potential incapacity. In California, one of the primary vehicles used to plan for an individual’s incapacity is a durable power of attorney for financial management (DPOA) (the other is an advance health care directive for health care decisions, see Being Prepared Is Ageless: Everyone Should Have an Advanced Health Care Directive). Let’s look at the pros and cons of using a DPOA.
Every attorney has his or her own style and system for developing and implementing an estate plan, but that doesn’t mean there are no commonalities. In fact, there are certain considerations and practices that are common to the estate planning process for most attorneys. For those of you new to estate planning practice—and those who want to confirm they aren’t missing anything—here are the first five of the 10 steps of this common procedure for developing an estate plan and putting it into place (stay tuned next week for the next 5 steps!).
Blended families are very common today—from the Kardashians to the Jolie-Pitts, Hollywood has myriad examples. In a blended family, there are children from a prior relationship and also perhaps children with the current spouse. This situation presents many blessings and challenges, including those for estate planning attorneys. Even if your clients’ assets are modest, planning for them in the context of the “blended family” requires careful analysis.