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Wills Archives

Digital assets and estate planning - are you prepared?

As the end of the year approaches, many of our Michigan readers may be thinking that now is the time to make a last minute run at estate planning. For many, there is no time like the present, especially for tax planning purposes. This is because there are some exempts and taxes which will most likely be changing by next year. For others, the end of the year can be a period of reflection on all of the events which have transpired over the course of 2012, which can lead to the conclusion that now is the time to make sure that relatives would be taken care of in the unfortunate event of an untimely death. However, no matter what is driving a person to start thinking about their estate plan, one part of the estate that many will need to remember to include is one that has only been coming to light in recent years: digital assets.

What exactly should be considered in an estate planning strategy?

Our Michigan readers have seen in plenty of our previous posts how having the right estate plan can lead to smooth transfers of assets and personal property, and how bad estate planning can lead to litigation and family strife amongst relatives. However, many of our readers may still wonder, what exactly does a comprehensive estate plan consist of?

Do you think of digital assets when it comes to estate planning?

It is a topic that is becoming more frequently discussed in the course of drawing up an estate plan: digital assets. What are digital assets? Well, that would be all of the things you keep on your computer, be it a home desktop or personal laptop. Pictures, videos, music and personal files, all of these can be considered digital assets. Beyond these, you may have an entire online persona that is password protected, including everything from an email account to a Facebook page. When a Michigan resident approaches estate planning, they should not forget to answer the question: what do I want to happen to all of this?

Michigan Powerball winner will need to consider changes to will

As many of our readers are probably aware by now, a recent Powerball lottery jackpot of $337 million went to a lucky winner in Michigan. With such a windfall coming to the winner, it is easy to image that the individual or group holding the winning ticket probably won't have to worry about money anymore. That is likely to be true in some respects, but with that type of money it is best to start making some plans on how to accommodate the associated changes into a normal life.

Famous musician's will details his wishes for use of his work

Although our Oakland County readers would have to be of a certain generation and have a certain musical taste to know who Adam Yauch was, some interesting news has developed in the wake of his recent and untimely death which could shed some light on key aspects of estate planning. Yauch was more popularly known as MCA, a founding member of the iconic and genre shattering group known as the Beastie Boys. The group's music developed an intense following beginning in the 1980's, and they became even more famous because they were some of the first Caucasian rappers to gain mainstream credibility. Mega-stars like Detroit native Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, have said that the Beastie Boys were a huge influence and inspiration to them.

What exactly is an "estate"?

When Michigan residents hear the term "estate plan," some may think of it as a legal term applying only to wealthy people. On the same token, people might think of an estate plan as a stack of documents that directs the distribution of enormous amounts of assets and property. However, what these same people may not know is that drawing up a document as simple as a will is the beginning of virtually every estate planning process.

What happens to your assets if you don't have a will?

Previous posts have mentioned that Michigan is one state making progress on the simplification of estate administration and distribution of assets. Estate administration is hard enough without having to work around complex state laws and requirements.

Whitney Houston's estate plan a reminder for Michigan residents

Readers in Michigan have likely heard about the untimely death of Whitney Houston. While the death of the great pop star is certainly a tragedy, it has served as a reminder to everyone, young and old, of the importance of a well-crafted estate plan.

Researchers: new treatment possible for Alzheimer's disease

Many readers in Detroit and throughout Oakland County are responsible for protecting the assets of vulnerable adults who suffer from Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia. These older adults are often especially vulnerable to being financially exploited, and if loved ones find out that undue influence or coercion has impacted the writing of a will, then the need for a will contest or some other form of probate litigation may arise.

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