Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, July 20, 2015

Uniform Law Commission Finishes Its 124th Annual Meeting

UlcThe Uniform Law Commission has made revisions to a number of proposed pieces of legislation at its annual meeting in Williamsburg Virginia.  The ULC has approved a revised version of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) as well as the Uniform Athlete Agents Act.  Some of the revisions to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act include an expanded definition of “athlete agent” and “student athlete.”  The UFADAA deals with what happens with social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter.  The commission approved a total of seven acts, and the current draft of all of these acts can be read here.

See Katie Robinson, Uniform Law Commission Wraps Up 124th Annual Meeting, Uniform Law Commission, July 15, 2015. 

July 20, 2015 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

ULC Plans To Revise Uniform Fiduciary Access To Digital Assets Act (UFADAA)

UFADAAWhat happens to a person’s social media accounts after they die?  The intent behind people supporting the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) is to give estate administrators the ability to access social media accounts unless the decedent expressed otherwise in his or her will.  This column discusses some of the opposition to this piece of legislation from a lot of technology companies.  These companies proposed the Privacy Expectation Afterlife and Choices Act (PEAC) as an alternative to the UFADAA, and this legislation would only grant access to a fiduciary if the decedent expressly authorized it.  Now the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is attempting to bridge the gap by rewriting the UFADAA.  This article addresses the revised UFADAA approach, and it also emphasizes the importance of including plans for social media accounts in an estate plan. 

See Jeffrey R. Gottlieb, ULC Rewrites ‘Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act,’ Illinois Estate Plan, July 20, 2015. 

July 20, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Web/Tech, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Five Great Free Retirement Calculators For Everyone

CalculatorAnyone who plans for retirement needs some basic information calculated such as earnings projections on investments and expense calculators to determine how long savings will last. This day and age the choices are many as the internet proliferates with free tools that will calculate any number of things. However, finding a respectable site that has accurate tools might be a problem but thankfully the article below offers a great run down on the free calculator websites available and the particular features of each. These websites are tremendously helpful for the novice estate planner and veteran alike and should be checked out by anyone that is seeking tools to help plan for the future.

See Rob Berger, 5 Excellent Retirement Calculators (And All Are Free), Forbes, July 12, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 13, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Identity Thieves Increasingly Targeting The Dead

FuneralThe scourge of identity theft is not just a problem for the living; identity thieves have also been increasingly targeting the dead.  More than 800,000 dead persons are victimized by identity thieves each year, and annually there are 1.6 million credit applications filled out on behalf of dead people.  One consequence of this theft of credit information is that the deceased person’s loved ones who are left behind are often subjected to harassing collection calls from creditors.  When a person dies the estate’s personal representative should inform all three credit bureaus by sending them an original death certificate. 

See Kansas and Missouri Estate Planning Blog, A New “Mark” For Identity Thieves – The Dead!, Wealth Management, July 6, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention. 

July 8, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

CLE On National Firearms Act (NFA) Trusts

CLEThe Texas Bar Association is presenting a CLE entitled, National Firearms Act (NFA) Trusts, Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 1:00-2:00 pm Central, online.  Here is why you should attend:

Topics to Include:

  • Professional considerations: business, ethics, and avoiding malpractice
  • State and federal law governing NFA trusts
  • Advantages of NFA trusts over individual ownership
  • Steps in acquiring NFA firearms
  • Risks of using trusts to own NFA firearms
  • Losing Form 4: Problems with the NFA Registry
  • Drafting NFA trusts
  • Alternatives to NFA trusts (individual ownership, business entitles)
  • Privacy considerations

Speakers:
Mr. Sean Patrick Healy, Tyler
Healy Law Offices, PC

Dave Matheny, Austin
Silencer Shop

 

 

July 2, 2015 in Conferences & CLE, Trusts, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

When People Post About Funerals On Social Media

Funeral-trust25-crop-600x338It is very common for people to post just about every detail of their life on social media services like Facebook or Twitter.  This column discusses some of the controversy surrounding the increasing number of people who post pictures and comments about funerals on their social media accounts and the mixed feelings that society has about this new trend.  Some people believe that funerals should be private affairs and would not like it if somebody took a picture of the casket and posted it on Facebook or Twitter.  There are other individuals who have no issue with sharing pictures and information about funerals with their social media networks.  As social media technology continues to develop these concerns about privacy will continue to become more prevalent. 

See Leanne Italie, For social media fans, funerals are now fair game: Share, comment, or take a selfie?, Arkansas Online, July 1, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 1, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Digital Tools Make Retirement Planning Easier

Retirement planningPeople who are planning for retirement often face difficulties when deciding how much money they will need.  With life expectancies increasing there is often a risk of outliving retirement savings.  A new retirement planning tool that is offered by Personal Capital, a financial technology company, is making it easier for people to plan ahead.  There has been a recent growth in financial technology companies offering people "robo-advisors," who use algorithms based on the clients data to offer more accurate retirement projections.  These new technologies will make it easier for clients to get the information needed to make fast decisions.

See Laura Shin, Test An Endless Number Of Retirement Projections With This New Tool, Forbes, June 22, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

June 23, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Service to Track Location Of A Will

Wills The U.S. Wills Registry is an online service that offers to keeps track of the location and holder of a will. The information is uploaded to the site by the testator and will remain on the site indefinitely. The information about the location may be changed at any time by the testator and the information will only be turned over to the interested parties when a valid certificate of death is presented. The website is free to the public with more information being found here.

June 22, 2015 in Web/Tech, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

What Happens To Social Media Accounts After Death?

FacebookThe State of Wyoming is looking at creating legislation that will provide a process for dealing with a person’s social media accounts after they die.  Not a lot of jurisdictions have legislation in place for dealing with a decedent’s social media services like their Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts.  Lawmakers in Wyoming would like to model the legislation after the Privacy Expectation Afterlife and Choices Act, which is a piece of legislation that technology firms are lobbying for across the United States.  The bill will create a process that will make it easier for decedents to give family members access to their accounts after they pass away.

See Trevor Brown, What happens to social media after you die?, The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, June 20, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

June 21, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Web/Tech, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

California Legislature Considers Digital Asset Reform Bill

FacebookThe California legislature is thinking about passing a bill that would allow deceased individuals to ‘opt-in’ to giving executors and trustees access to digital assets.  The bill would let individuals opt-in by expressly stating it in a will or through an internet service provider.  The bill is part of a larger nationwide effort to give decedents more control over their digital assets.  The text of this proposed piece of legislation can be read here

See Kathryn Sylvia, California introduces ‘opt-in’ digital assets bill, Robinson + Cole, June 11, 2015.

June 17, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Trusts, Web/Tech, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)