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While estate planning, it’s a good idea to make sure that various parties involved with your estate including personal representatives, agents appointed through a durable power of attorney, and trust receive the information they need to both access as well as manage your assets in case you end up incapacitated or pass away. 

While most assets can be easily identified, one notable exception are digital assets, which include not just social media accounts and financial accounts but also cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and non fungible tokens. This article reviews some critical issues to consider in regards to estate planning and digital assets.

# 1 – Email and Social Media Accounts

A survey recently reported that over 80% of people who work in estate and financial planning utilize digital trends to support estate planning. Family structures are increasingly complex with currently 34% of respondents reporting that the appointment of beneficiaries was a primary cause of fighting among a family. Market volatility has been identified as the leading threat to estate planning and has risen substantially in danger over the last few years. 

The study also determined the increase in the use of digital content and tools that conform with the growing interest in digital assets. Many people are interested in their financial planning advancing as the utilization of technology and digital integration improves.

Other details in the study state that 52% of people leverage estate planning software, while 48% of individuals use online estate planning platforms. This activity demonstrates that a large part of people who participate in estate planning are utilizing digital resources to efficiently support client needs.

Estate planning varies substantially between individuals and is influenced greatly by a person’s goals. Each individual also has a unique situation as well as a background to consider. Two individuals with similar kinds of assets are worried about protecting property from future elderly care centers that might sound like they have similar estate plans. If one person is a disabled veteran, while the other has no military service though, estate planning between the two can be substantially different. When it comes to estate planning, countless important estate planning issues should be considered.

# 1 – Decide On Your Estate Planning Goals

Each person should assess his or her goals when deciding on what he or she would like to achieve with an estate plan. If the main goal is to make sure that a spouse inherits assets and can make choices after the individual becomes incapacitated, a plan involving a last will and testament and powers of attorney might be all that is required. If the primary objective of an estate plan is to guard against future liabilities, trust planning might be critical. 

Considering that someday you will no longer be alive is an unpleasant thought. You might be frightened of the unknown, particularly when it involves issues of what will happen to your loved ones. Even though you will no longer be around to play a role in managing your estate, you do have an input in what happens to your estate after you pass away. This article reviews some of the helpful things that you can do to protect your money after you pass away.

A vital part of estate planning is creating a will, which is a type of legally-binding document that articulates your wishes for what should happen after you pass away including who you would like to manage your estate and how you want your assets to be divided. Wills can also include instructions regarding the care of any dependent or pets that you might have.

A poll conducted in 2021 revealed that less than half of the adults in the United States do not have a will. The results of this study are similar to other polls conducted as early as the 1990s. Even though it can be challenging to consider that you will someday pass away and to place instructions regarding how your family should manage your assets, doing this can be critical to making sure that your assets, as well as your loved ones, remain protected after you pass away. 

When Stephen Sondheim recently passed away, he passed on all rights associated with his theatrical work including several well-known musicals including several unfinished pieces to a trust, which will be tasked with managing his estate. 

The Sondheim trust now will assess the future of  the well-known artist’s intellectual works in addition to any other assets he owned at the time that he  passed away. The arrangements regarding what will happen to Sondheim’s assets are contained in a petition that was recently signed and then filed with New York Surrogate Court. 

A petition for probate reports that the approximate worth of Sondheim’s assets when he passed away was greater than $500,00 and less than $75 million. Several estate planning attorneys, however, suggested exercising caution in reading these numbers, which are simply a rough estimate and do not depict the worth of whatever Sondheim positioned in a trust while he was alive. 

For many corporate executives who are considering retiring, substantial financial planning must be done. Given the executives are often some of the best-compensated workers, this advice might seem unnecessary. Additionally, increasing stock prices over the last few years, as well as a healthy economy, means that many executives are better situated than ever before.

Diversification of Assets Is King

One issue executives should consider is the degree of their assets that share a relationship with the worker’s employer. Many executives receive various stock options, stock grants, and also enroll in retirement accounts; each of these plans can contribute towards a focus on the executive’s assets on the company stock of the executive’s employer.

One unanticipated effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is it made many people realize that time is short. If you delay doing something too long, the risk exists that you might never have the chance to do it. Many people are following this advice when it comes to things like changing jobs, divorcing, and purchasing homes. Estate planning, however, works just the same way.

The Covid-19 Pandemic and Estate Planning

People who delayed estate planning during the Covid-19 pandemic realized just how important it was to create estate plans. This trend continues even though the height of the pandemic has passed. There are some people unfortunately who despite their best effort cannot finalize their estate plans. These individuals begin the estate planning process but then stop. Sometimes, these people try to pick up and complete estate planning months or even years later. These individuals often find themselves simply overwhelmed with the number of choices that must be made in the estate planning process. Other times, people are simply confused about what estate planning strategy works best for them. Additionally, many people resist having to confront their mortality and accept that one day, they simply will not be alive.

Since 2021, many conversations have been had about the Build Back Better Act,  which saw several substantial tax increases. While some people have described the Act as dead, the future of the act remains uncertain. 

Despite what happens to the act, its contents are subjects to which Congress is likely to respond in regards to what is referred to as “death taxes”. 

A “death tax” is a type of “transfer tax” and is referred to as an estate tax. Most people are acquainted with income tax. If an individual receives a salary, the salary is taxed. If a person sells a property that has appreciated, the gain also receives what is referred to as a capital gains tax. Ordinary income tax, as well as capital gains tax, are two types of income tax.

Passing assets through generations can be a nuanced process. Assets are routinely an emotionally difficult issue, and a loved one’s plans for transferring assets can trigger various reactions from those left behind.

Data shows that by at least 2045, almost $75 trillion in assets will be transferred to heirs while charities will receive an additional $12 trillion. The size of many transfers between generations exaggerates why families should create as well as discuss comprehensive legacy plans.

Our lawyers routinely work with clients to create a detailed multi-generational plan where family members join together in a neutral and safe space for the person facing the end of life or incapacity to discuss their financial as well as non-financial goals with younger generations. This article reviews some helpful advice families should follow who want to have successful family legacy plans.

The stock market over the last ten years has increased the valuation of many retirement accounts. Consequently, many people interested in estate planning are focused less on internal growth necessary for succession planning than at other times.

Inflation is much like gravity. Both rise and fall. With inflation occurring at substantial levels during the war in Ukraine, people interested in making the most of their estate plans should recognize that their plans ultimately might require a proactive effort. This article reviews some important details that you should consider when creating a strong succession plan.

Focus on Your Goal

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