Facebook: Ok to Name Account Manager For When a User Dies

February 12, 2015

As I’ve previously written, digital property presents unique challenges in estate planning.  What happens with your digital life when you die or if you are in a coma?

Facebook announced a new feature today that will permit users to provide a contact who can manage the user’s page after the user’s death.  Or users can instruct Facebook to permanently delete the account after the user’s death.

A legacy contact can’t access private messages or delete embarrassing photos.  But this contact can become a caregiver for the user’s digital tombstone and write posts, change the profile photo, and respond to friend requests.

If no legacy contact is registered, the page will be frozen when Facebook is notified of the user’s death.

To help your loved ones care for your digital property, I’ve have prepared a digital property inventory that you can download at no cost.

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Are You Backing Up Your Digital Life?

January 8, 2015

The holidays were filled with lots of wonderful opportunities to take pictures. Then those photos were downloaded to computers with the thought they would be held for safekeeping. But are they really secure? Many people were the happy recipients of new laptops or desktop computers that they are now happily using. Was a backup system… Read more »

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Obituaries – Life’s Stories and Lessons on Living Life Better

December 16, 2014

When I was reporter for The Atlanta Constitution, my colleagues and I had deep respect for those who wrote obituaries, stories on how a life had been lived.  As an attorney handling estate matters, both planning and administration, I know writing an obit is a solemn and often sad task. As this article describes, many… Read more »

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Retired and Considering Remarrying? Consider how Social Security benefits will change

September 23, 2014

For three in four single retirees more than half of their income comes from Social Security. A divorced retiree who was married for at least a decade is entitled to spousal Social Security benefits, the same as if they were still married. The benefits are available even if the ex-spouse remarries. That eligibility ends when… Read more »

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You’ve Inherited Property with a Mortgage, Now What?

September 6, 2014

Hearing that you’ve inherited real estate is the good news. Then there can be uncertainty about what an existing mortgage might mean.  Many fear they have to get a new mortgage on their name, that they won’t be able to, and that they will lose the property if the lender calls the loan. The Consumer… Read more »

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Who Cares for Your Digital Life and Afterlife?

August 21, 2014

What happens with your digital life when you die or if you are in a coma? The Washington Post interviewed me in a piece that highlighted Delaware’s new law that grants access to digital property owned by someone who is incapacitated or has died. As I told the reporter, in my practice I regularly see… Read more »

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Preparing For And Getting Through Divorce

July 29, 2014

If divorce is something you are thinking about, are in the midst of, or have gone through, Daily Finance has an article on financial, tax, and legal related points to consider. The author has prepared a thorough list of 22 things to consider in moving from married to divorced. I am in strong agreement with… Read more »

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E-Z Legal Form Not so Easy with Court Fight Over Will

May 27, 2014

Ann Aldrich probably thought she was doing well when she signed a will that left a list of her assets to her sister and if her sister didn’t survive then to her brother James. However, the will she signed in 2004, an “E-Z Legal Form,” was not drafted for her by a lawyer. Certainly unintended,… Read more »

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Funeral Choices

April 2, 2014

As family and friends face the loss of a loved one, they are also often thrust into becoming instant funeral service consumers. The choices can be overwhelming and the costs significant. I talk with my clients about the gift of making pre-need arrangements – funeral, cremation, burial, etc. I describe pre-planning as a gift because… Read more »

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Senior Citizens Handbook: Answers, Information, & Resources in Virginia

March 9, 2014

For senior citizens, their loved ones, and caregivers, many, many questions can arise. Finding answers can seem overwhelming and very time consuming. In Virginia, there is an information rich 112-page book that covers all aspects of senior living. For more than three decades the Virginia State Bar has published the Senior Citizens Handbook: Laws &… Read more »

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