Consequences of Using On-line Estate Planning Documents

The following case study is on the pitfalls of using online software forestate planning. This is a situation that our office had to navigate. The names of the family have been changed but it could happen to anyone.

Mary was unmarried. She had 2 children. One of her children predeceased her. Her deceased child, named Joseph, had a child of his own (Mary’s first grandchild), named Gilbert. Mary’s one surviving child, Kevin, also had a child (Mary’s second grandchild) named Samantha.

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Estate Planning For Social Media and Electronic Gadgets

Nowadays most of us do everything online: managing our banking, storing our photos, writing the next best-seller novel, and documenting the next great invention. Yet few of us have read the Terms of Service governing access to those Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Gmail, and other digital media sites. (Terms of Service are those pages of small print that you don’t read, quickly scroll through, and then agree to (“click here”), just so you can get to the substance of the digital site.) Access to that information by our families if we become disabled, sick, or die is most assuredly not guaranteed, unless they have the information that they need, (passwords, pin numbers, usernames, etc.) together with the legal documents in place that gives your named fiduciary the legal right to step in your shoes and act in your place, for your benefit.

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Parental Power of Attorney: The Legal Document Needed For Those Caring For Your Children

Whether the kids will be with Grandma and Grandpa or a nanny when you go on a quick get away or business trip, it is important to consider whether the person caring for your children has the legal tools necessary to care for your child in an emergency situation. As a parent, you have the ability to make legal and medical decisions for your children under eighteen (18) years of age. What happens, though, if your child gets sick while you are away, or when the child is on vacation without you? While we are often only a cellphone away, that is not always sufficient in an emergency situation.

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Celebrities Who Have Died Without a Last Will and Testament Have Taught Us to Plan NOW

Over the last few years, we’ve seen lots of stories in the news about athletes, musicians, and other celebrities who’ve died without a Last Will and Testament, and the ensuing court battles by families.  While you may not be a world-famous celebrity, there are some really good reasons you should consider making a thorough inventory of your assets and setting up an estate plan now:

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Who Keeps the Pet?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pet populations, particularly dogs and cats, are on the rise and expected to continue to increase through at least 2030. Many people have welcomed a new pet to the family during the COVID-19 pandemic as well. A common question that clients should think about is: who keeps our fur baby if we are no longer able to care for it.

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