Estate planning is about more than just financial documents

On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Friday, December 5, 2014.

If pressed for a legal definition of estate planning, an attorney might define it as the process of legally providing for the disposition of assets, both current and projected. However, there is also a human element to estate planning, and an attorney knows that the process involves much more than just the creation and storage of financial documents.

Thanks to cloud technology, a human element may also be added to estate planning. For individuals that are accustomed to uploading videos, photos and other communications on Facebook or other social media accounts, the transition to making a digital media communication, to be viewed by heirs upon the individual’s passing, may be an easy one.

By memorializing an individual’s intentions, surviving loved ones may be able to avoid disputes. In a sense, estate planning can contribute toward healthy relationships among one’s heirs and beneficiaries.

Estate planning can also simplify the administrative tasks facing an estate, such as searching for property deeds, life insurance policies, bank and retirement accounts, and even social media accounts. An attorney can help to organize these assets in an easy manner.

Of course, any estate plan should have some documents that will stand up in a court of law. But as this post reminds us, creating a legal document may only be the start of a comprehensive estate plan. Check out our firm’s website page on wills, trusts and estates to learn more about how an attorney can help tailor solutions to meet a client’s unique circumstances.

Source: The New York Times, “Focusing on the Human Element of Estate Planning,” Paul Sullivan, Nov. 7, 2014

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