Monday, February 13, 2012
Social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter set up private contracts between the user and the company. These private contracts can make it difficult to deal with a person's social media account once they have died. Each social media company looks to their private policies when dealing with a deceased person's account. As survivors of a decased person try working with the social media companys, they are finding there are not many laws out there covering social media death issues. A very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal titled, "Deaths Pose Test for Facebook" by Steve Eder covers this facinating issue.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
A 529 education plan is a great way to start saving money for a child's education and can be a valuable estate planning tool. For estate planning purposes, a 529 education plan can be used to reduce estate taxes if estate taxes are an issue for you or prepare for your child's education in the event you die before your child becomes old enough to get a secondary education. In estate planning, it is important to look at all the "what if" scenarios and try to prepare for those scenarios. It is the same with a 529 plan. One "what if" scenario that must be addressed is what if the 529 funds outlast the child's 529 education plan. The Wall Street Journal has a great article covering this very "what if" scenario. The article entitled, "What to Do With Leftovers in 529 Plans," written by Georgette Jasen gives options enabling an individual to make an educated decision if a 529 plan ends up with "leftover" funds.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Once both parents have died, the children have a big job ahead of them. It litterly can take years to wade through all the accumulated stuff. And the stuff might really be valuable (not just monetarily). The sentimental value of a certain item can help ease the lose of the loved one as family reminisces, or it can cause the dreaded family fight that keeps family members from talking to each other for years. An article written by Kelly Greene of the Wall Street Journal entitled, "The Pearls Are Mine!" gives some good suggestions for working through the mountain of stuff in an timely and friendly way.