When planning for your estate, one of the things you may not think about is who will own all of your data that is out there on the Internet in the form of social media accounts. While some social networks will delete an account after being shown a death certificate, others may not. Here are a few things you should know about your social accounts.
4 Questions About Social Accounts and Death
Who Owns the Data? If you die, you technically still own all of the data on your social accounts. That is true pretty much across the board. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, you can give consent to someone else if you have a Facebook account, leaving your data to them. Twitter also allows someone authorized to act on behalf of a person’s estate or even a verified family member to access data. Just about every type of social platform has such a clause.
Does My Account End Up Deactivated? Usually, an inactive account will be removed after a set amount of time. For example, Twitter accounts last for 6 months after they go inactive. However, Facebook and LinkedIn require a report of death before they will ever be deactivated, and Pinterest accounts can’t always be deactivated.
Does My Username Get Reused? Facebook and LinkedIn will allow someone else to claim your username after you have been reported deceased and the account has been deleted. Many sites, like Twitter and Google+ will never allow anyone to use that name again.
How Can a Family Member Deactivate My Accounts? This is different for every platform. Most require a death certificate and proof of being immediate family. Some sites require more information. For example, LinkedIn needs you to know the email address that the user signed up with.
Taking Care of Your Accounts Posthumously
To make sure your accounts are treated as you wish, make sure those wishes are a part of your estate plan. The attorneys at Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help you add this important information to your estate planning.Read More
The Sweetheart Trust is a particular type of revocable living trust. This type of trust earns its name because of the degree of control passed on to a spouse when the first mate dies. While both mates are alive and have use of their mental faculties, either mate has control over his or her portion of the trust, hence the idea of it being revocable. When one spouse dies, the survivor gains complete control over the entire trust. So the term Sweetheart refers to the idea that either surviving spouse would gain control after the loss of his or her mate.
Is This the Right Choice for a Married Couple?
For many, it is. This is because it is a very straightforward way to structure a trust that becomes the possession of the surviving mate. It can also be less expensive since it helps to avoid probate issues and ensures the surviving mate is administered the trust quickly. This is also a great option for taking advantage of the $5 million unified credit amount which allows the money to pass estate tax-free. Of even more benefit is that the couple can add their unified credit amounts together and leave descendants more than $10 million that is not subject to estate taxes.
Is There a Downside to the Sweetheart Trust?
There are a few circumstances that could affect whether this is the right option for you. Let’s say a couple gets married and each spouse already has children of their own. Now there are two sets of heirs. If one mate dies, the survivor may be tempted to make his or her heirs the only beneficiaries now that the survivor has full control of the trust. Also, if the survivor marries again after the death of a mate, the new spouse may get the money rather than any heirs of the original couple. Therefore, it is important to consider your marriage and family situations carefully with the help of an attorney.
We know just who you can call. The Petrov Law Firm is very experienced with estate planning law. Our attorneys can help you to determine the best way to ensure your estate goes where you want it to at your death. For more information, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
By considering an estate plan, you have taken the most important step to securing your future and your assets. Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of one’s estate after death. Your estate is comprised of everything you own—your home, car, bank accounts, retirement plans and investments, possessions big and small. No matter how large or modest, everyone has an estate that they’ve worked hard to build up. Planning now will help you avoid losing your assets in the event of a disabling illness or death.
When you plan your estate, begin with yourself. Do you have a current and valid will or living trust? Your attorney will help guide you on the most beneficial type of will or trust for your situation. Ensure that your legal document is current and reflects exactly your wishes. Include any executors, trustees, or powers of attorney as befits your plan. Consider including instructions on how to conduct your funeral and memorial services. Allocate a percentage of your estate to cover these costs so your family is not stuck covering the bills.
Once your personal plans have been laid out for yourself, be sure to include protection for your family. Name guardians for any minors. If you have dependents with disabilities, you can write a protection for them in your estate plan. Pass on important information such as names and addresses of your financial advisors to your surviving family. Your attorney can also advise on the right amount and type of life insurance for you.
Finally, protect your family’s inheritance by setting up a trust. A revocable living trust, valid in every state, can avoid probate at death, prevent court control of assets, provides maximum privacy, and can be changed by you at any time. Your estate planning attorney can provide information on any tax and social security consequences for your beneficiaries.
There are many components of your estate that you can allocate and control. Consult an estate planning attorney to comprehensively address your estate and ensure the best possible orchestration of your assets when you become unable to do so yourself.