June 2022

Lawyer for Life
 

For generations, the children in your family have learned to swim by jumping off of the dock of your family’s vacation home. It’s a rite of passage for each grandchild to learn how to bait a hook from grandpa while fireflies flicker in the summer heat. The legacy of a vacation home is the pinnacle of the American Dream. Many people work their entire lives to afford a home in their dream destination. While you dream of passing down this home (and the memories) for generations to come, have you thought of how to protect this family legacy?

 

Leaving the family vacation home directly to your children may be the simplest way for transferring ownership, however, when multiple children are involved, they would all need to agree on how the property is managed and maintained in the future. These decisions are proven to be challenging not only for your children to agree on, but also for their future spouses.

 

An LLC is often used by families, in which each family member would have a certain membership interest in the home or to give away in a controlled manner. If the home is rented at certain times of the year, the LLC can help limit the liability of the family and profits could be used to help maintain the property.

 

Trusts are another tool used to protect a family home. This legal agreement allows you to specify how you would like the property to be managed once you die. You can use the trust to identify who will own your vacation home, when they will have access to it, and what they will be allowed to do with the property.

 

One of the many benefits of placing your vacation home in a trust is to avoid probate. When you pass away, assets that legally belong to a trust will be passed on to your beneficiaries without going through probate. There are several trust options available to align with your specific needs. A few most common trusts are:

  • IRREVOCABLE TRUST
    The house can be placed into an irrevocable trust with your children named as beneficiaries. The terms of the trust would outline the management and use of the home. An irrevocable trust helps to protect the family from possible creditor liens.
  • REVOCABLE TRUST
    A revocable trust can be used to transfer the property to family members at the time of your death. This option can set up what is called a subtrust to manage your vacation home after your death. There is usually a set amount of money set aside in the trust to help care for the property for a period of time.
  • QUALIFIED PERSONAL RESIDENCE TRUST
    This allows you to gift the property at a reduced value, while allowing yourself to use the property for a set amount of years, after that time has expired the home can transfer directly to family or to a trust for future generations.

Preserving your family’s legacy of summers full of fun is important to avoid future family conflicts and avoiding litigation. Choosing the right financial structure for your family to enjoy and use the property will help guarantee family fun for future generations.

 

Digital technology has transformed the way we live. Our society has irrevocably plunged into the digital world. As technology becomes ever more deeply embedded into our daily lives, we need to plan accordingly. “Digital Assets” is a broad term that includes a multitude of online accounts and records. A digital Will enables you to identify how you want each one of these profiles to be handled after your death. A digital Will is not the same as a traditional written Will, which is a legal document specifying how your assets will be distributed after death. You can pass some types of digital assets through your Will, but most digital assets transfer in other ways, or not at all. Online accounts and digital media have value and they could be locked or even lost if you don’t set up the appropriate protection in your Will.

 

Practically speaking, most of your digital assets won’t pass through your Will. However, even if you can’t pass these types of digital assets through your Will, you can (and should) make a plan for what happens to them after you are gone. In addition to notifying your loved ones of what online accounts do exist, your Will should also describe where to find them.

 

In most cases, your family members won’t know what you have floating in cyberspace once you die. Each website has its own requirements and legal processes for accessing accounts after death. There are a few actions you can take to make things easier to access and for your loved ones to know how you would like your digital accounts to be handled after you are gone. Between the many types of digital wallets and various online exchanges, your family will most likely be on a wild goose chase unless you make it clear where this information can be found.

Some digital accounts will have a measurable monetary value, while others will have values that differ from person to person. While your cryptocurrency can be cashed out for cold hard cash, removing your online dating profile may have other complications. Below are a few digital assets and accounts to consider when documenting your digital footprint:

  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency
  • Social media profiles
  • Frequent flier miles
  • Credit card reward points
  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Online dating profiles
  • YouTube accounts
  • Prescription subscription accounts
  • Crowdfunding accounts
  • Access to digitally filed tax returns
  • Website ownership
  • NFTs
  • Email accounts

Leaving digital assets to your loved ones after your death requires more planning than traditional and tangible assets. With a little planning, you can ensure that your beneficiaries inherit your accounts as you intended. We can help you with documenting the appropriate information and notifying your loved ones of your digital assets, along with your traditional Will.

 

The occurrence of dementia goes way back to before it was named. Ancient Egyptians, in 2000 B.C., were aware of the fact that memory declines as people grow old.

 

In the second century A.D., Turkish doctor Aretheus described dementia by putting it in the same group as delirium. Delirium is a reversible (acute) cognitive function disorder, while dementia is an irreversible chronic disorder.

June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

The fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century led to the domination of theocracy during the Middle Ages. Dementia was thus regarded as a punishment from God for sins committed, and the patients were considered to be possessed by demons and subject to hatred. During the 14th and 15th centuries, such patients were also victims of witch hunts.

 

Saint Isidore, archbishop of Seville, first used the word 'dementia' in his book "Etymologies" in around 600 A.D. The term is of Latin origin: 'de' meaning loss or deprivation, 'ment' meaning mind, and 'ia' indicating a state. So, 'dementia' means 'loss of the state of the mind.'

 

In 1906, German physician Alois Alzheimer described the case of Auguste Deter, a SO-year-old woman with profound memory loss. This was the first recorded case of Alzheimer's disease, although it was not called so then.

 

President Ronald Regan initiated the observance of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month in 1983 to raise awareness about Alzheimer's and get people involved in recognizing the disease and the types of care required by someone suffering from it.

 

As we observe Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness month, we encourage you to donate time or money to an Alzheimer's organization, participate in public events and seminars to spread awareness about Alzheimer's, and wear purple to show solidarity in the fight against Alzheimer's. Use the hashtag #EndAlz and #AlzheimersAndBrainAwarenessMonth.

Tom