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July 2015 Archives

Facebook offers users a new estate planning tool

Many Tennessee residents use Facebook to connect with friends and family, to share the details of their lives and keep up with the events that are important to loved ones. It is also common for users to upload large volumes of photos, videos and written content to the social media site. In accordance with the site's policies, when a Facebook user dies, his or her surviving family members are locked out of those resources. This has caused a great deal of controversy, and some families have bristled at effectively being denied any ability to access the account of a loved one after a death has taken place. As a result, Facebook has added an estate planning feature of which users can take advantage.

Joint ownership can fail in protecting your family

When considering the creation of an estate plan, many Tennessee residents are drawn to joint ownership. This approach allows individuals to add the name of a desired heir to the title of certain assets during the original owner's lifetime. Many choose this approach in the belief that it is a simpler way to transfer assets upon death. In reality, however, joint ownership is often a poor choice for protecting your family.

What if a surviving spouse needs residential care?

When creating an estate plan, most Tennessee residents focus on providing for their loved ones. In the case of couples, the estate planning approach is usually to leave the bulk of one's assets to the surviving spouse, with the intention that the spouse will distribute assets to shared children when the time comes. This approach, however, fails to address the specific needs of a surviving spouse who might eventually require residential medical care.

The power of revocable living trusts and estate planning

Many Tennessee residents are aware of the existence of various types of trusts, but are unsure which trust structure might be right for their unique set of needs. For those who are seeking an effective way to manage the distribution of assets to their intended heirs, a revocable living trust, or RLT, may be a great solution. An RLT is funded in the same way as many other types of trusts, with assets that are titled to belong to the trust itself, and not the individuals creating the RLT.

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