Digital assets include electronic investment or bank accounts, emails, documents and photographs stored in the cloud, social media accounts, online medical records, and so on. It is illegal for anyone to access your accounts without your permission even if they have your password and are acting as your fiduciary. Upon death or incapacitation, these accounts may be closed and the information lost forever or the accounts may be left open and subject to identity thieves.
If you have ever traveled to a resort associated with a timeshare, it’s likely you have been approached with a presentation about timeshare ownership. You’ve enjoyed the amenities and accommodations throughout the week and daydream about how nice it would be take a similar vacation every year. Timeshares give you the ability to return and relive your travel experiences or, for an additional fee, you may opt to exchange for a different resort location expanding your vacation options. You are able to enjoy home-like accommodations and your long-term savings over hotels may even outweigh the upfront purchase price. Many are drawn to the appeal of owning a timeshare; however, once purchased, you own an asset that could become more of a hassle than you originally planned for.
Over time, your situation may change and you may find that you are unable to use your timeshare as much as you would like. At that time, you may want to sell it or simply walk away. Or perhaps you have enjoyed your timeshare for many years and have no plans to sell, but start to wonder, “What will happen when I pass away?”
There was a time when reducing a very onerous form of taxation was reason enough to endure the complexities and frequent confusion associated with planning one’s estate. Many of the decisions were focused solely on death, and the process frequently sidestepped the more common and important issues like long-term care, mental incapacity and property ownership.
Currently, only estates in excess of $5.43 million are subject to an estate tax and those who are married can have a combined estate of nearly $11 million. Hence, it turns out the estate tax should not be the main motivation for most of us to do estate planning.