» How to Start a Digital Estate Plan: A Guide from a Hook Law Center Estate Planning Attorney

How to Start a Digital Estate Plan: A Guide from a Hook Law Center Estate Planning Attorney

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 8, 2014 – It is increasingly important for comprehensive estate plans to account for assets managed online.

“Traditionally, when someone died without a comprehensive estate plan in place, heirs could use paper records to piece everything together,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia Beach estate planning attorney. “But now, that is not always the case. Many people are opting to manage checking accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts online. If those assets are not properly documented, it may be difficult for rightful heirs to gain access to them or even to become aware of their existence.”

Hook recommends consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure all assets are accounted for in a will or trust. But he also gave some simple steps that individuals can take to get started on their own.

When compiling sensitive information, be sure to protect it. Hook suggests physically hiding a USB flash drive, password-protecting the relevant drive and document or, preferably, both.

Identify assets. Include every account in which there are assets, regardless of whether there are current paper records – this may be changed in the future.

Gather access information. For financial accounts, access information includes websites, login IDs and passwords. Record an explanation of the locations of physical assets.

Understand transfer policies. Some companies facilitate the transfer of assets’ ownership to heirs better than others. Inquire about these policies, and if they are of concern, consider moving funds elsewhere. If the company allows named beneficiaries for individual accounts, take advantage of the option. It significantly reduces hassle.

Decide whether if anything needs to be destroyed. Perhaps there is private correspondence or diaries on a computer that should remain confidential until after death. If so, specify this in a will or trust what data is to be destroyed.

Spread the word. Tell a few key individuals – perhaps a spouse, children, executor or attorney – where to find personal digital estate plans and the password.

Keep it updated. When a new account is opened or a password is changed, update access information and records accordingly.

Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267

SUFFOLK
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suite 203
Suffolk VA 23435
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267
http://www.hooklawcenter.com/

  • To help prevent elder abuse, address caregiver stress as it emerges
    Elders are among the most vulnerable populations, and they are at special risk for abuse at the hands of their caregivers. Caregiver stress is one of the biggest contributing factors to elder abuse, and stressed-out caregivers are the most likely to abuse. Depression and anxiety are common among caregivers, who often provide hours of care [...]
  • How to make homes safer for seniors
    Older adults who continue to live independently at home will need a safe space in which to live. Making the home safe is essential for preventing injuries. Each year, around 7,000 elderly people die in accidents at home, while millions more sustain serious injuries there. Falls are the most common cause of injury. Drowning in [...]
  • Eye and smell tests may make early detection of Alzheimer’s possible
    Results of four new research trials suggest that changes to the eyes and ability to smell may be valuable in the early detection of Alzheimer’s.  Reports presented at the 2014 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen revealed that eye exams could be used to identify build-up of beta amyloid in the brain, while a decreased [...]
  • Seniors may qualify for Medicaid by spending down assets safely
    Federal law dictates that only someone below a benchmark level of assets can qualify for Medicaid, beyond which it is determined that the individual does not have the assets to pay for his or her own care. Many seniors who apply do not receive Medicaid because their asset level is too high to qualify. In [...]
  • Facts to know about Medicare and retirement
    If your 65th birthday is approaching, you should make sure you are aware of your Medicare options and are prepared to enroll in Medicare if necessary. Here are a few things you should know. First, if you are receiving Social Security benefits already, then you will be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and [...]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required