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Estate Planning and The Internet

For over 70 years our team of Idaho estate planning lawyers have assisted clients in creating their own customized estate plan. During this time we have seen amazing changes in technology and in a person’s ability to handle and care for their assets and to stay in touch with family and other loved ones. Our goal is to keep up with the changes technology brings into our lives and to help our clients manage their assets in a way that brings them comfort with their estate planning.  

Our team of Idaho estate planning attorneys have experience in assisting clients in customizing their estate planning especially when it comes to the Internet and the changes brought into our lives by being a part of a global society. Consisting of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley, our team of estate planning attorneys have earned the highest ratings possible with several legal ranking services including Martindale Hubbell, AVVO, and Justia.  

The Internet has had a profound affect not only on our lives individually but also on how we plan for our future. Estate planning is no exception. The Internet has made many parts of a state planning simpler. Additionally the internet has added new dimensions to estate planning that need to be considered. Here are three things that you should keep in mind when it comes to how the Internet can affect your estate planning.

1. Digital Assets

The first and most obvious way that the Internet has had an impact on a person’s estate planning is through digital assets. Just a few years ago there were no such things as digital assets. However, nowadays there are several digital assets that we all need to be aware of so that we can handle these assets correctly both while we are alive and after we are gone. By being aware of what these digital assets are, we assist our clients in protecting them while they are alive, and making sure they are used appropriately after they die.

The most obvious digital assets are the accounts that you have for email, and any social media accounts that may exist. These continue even after a person is incapacitated or after they die. By knowing this, we can assist our clients by creating a list of the email and social media accounts they have.

Additionally, more and more individuals have actual money associated with digital accounts. This could be as simple as online banking through your local bank. It can also include accounts such as PayPal and other Internet-based payment services that are used for various transactions. Additionally, cryptocurrencies have become very popular recently. By knowing that a client has these assets we are able to provide guidance to them concerning how these assets can be passed on to loved ones in a way that makes it available to them but also keeps the digital assets secure.

2. Powers of Attorney and Personal Representative

The second thing that you should know about how the Internet affects your estate planning is that it makes it easier for you to keep in touch with individuals you have a pointed as your fiduciaries in your estate planning. This includes those individuals that you have named to hold your powers of attorney to protect you and help you with your assets and finances while you are alive. Additionally this will also have an impact on the individuals you have named as the personal representative of your estate.

Through email, texting, social media, Skype, and other Internet-based ways of communicating it is easier to stay in touch with individuals now than it has ever been before. Because of this, it is also easier to know what is going on in the lives of those individuals that you may be relying on to help you while you are alive or after you pass away. This leads to the next thing that you should know about how the Internet can help you with your estate planning.

3. Keeping Estate Planning Updated

The final thing that you should know about the Internet and estate planning is that it gives you the ability to keep your estate plan current and updated. If someone you were relying on in helping you with your estate planning suddenly becomes unable to, either because of their own illness or injury, or because of their own death, you will still have the ability to keep your estate plan updated. If someone you have chosen to assist you can no longer do help, you can make a change to your own estate planning.

In the past, individuals mostly relied on other persons who lived close to them to help them with their estate planning. However, because of the Internet this is no longer necessary. Online banking and other financial tools exist on the Internet and can be accessed and utilized anywhere in the world. Additionally, the ability to stay in touch with physicians and other individuals who may be providing healthcare can more easily be accomplished now because of the Internet. The end result is that a person does not need to live near you in order to help you as a fiduciary in your estate planning. Individuals who hold powers of attorney, individuals who may be trustees, and individuals who may ultimately be your personal representatives can do all of these things remotely because of the Internet.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning needs including how the Internet affects your estate planning. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at racine@racinelaw.net. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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