Monday, February 1, 2010

Dealing with your E-Estate

Estate planning and probate generally deal in concepts that have been around for centuries, like life estates and fiduciary duties. However, there's a new frontier in estate planning, your digital estate.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/31/BUEV1BPKAR.DTL

Some companies have popped up to offer services to email your contact list upon your death, provide access to your usernames and passwords to your next of kin, and closing out your facebook account.

As the twitter generation grows older, we may see many people who find this to be a useful service.

Theft from Estate

The Chicago Tribune is reporting on an alleged $140,000 theft from an Iowa estate.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-iowa-estatetheft,0,7766795.story

Unfortunately, theft from estates can happen. When you get your will together, you will name a "personal representative", which is also known as an executor. This person will have the responsibility and access to deal with your financial affairs after your death. This person has a lot of power, so be sure to name someone who you trust with your finances.

If you think a personal representative is not entirely on the up-and-up in dealing with an estate, there are some things you can do if you are a creditor, family member or other interested person. Some examples are requesting an accounting of the estate from the personal representative or petitioning the court to supervise the personal representatives actions. If you are concerned about a personal representative's conduct, contact a licensed attorney.