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Placer County Estate Law Blog

Why creating a pet trust may make sense for pet owners

Pet ownership is increasing, and the way many Americans feel about their pets is changing too. There are spas that will polish your dog’s nails or give him or her a blueberry facial treatment. Cat spas offer services like massages and holistic healing treatments. Doggie daycares make sure your dog is socialized and looked after while you are at work. For many, dogs and cats have become a part of the family, and people usually want the best for their family.

You may think having your dog’s nails done or getting your cat a massage may seem a little over the top. Everyone has different opinions about their pets’ needs. However, most pet owners want their pets to be well fed and cared for. So, what happens when you are no longer around to look after your pets?

How to set inheritance expectations for your family

When family members do not have realistic expectations about the amounts they will be inheriting, disputes can arise easily. A recent TD Wealth poll points to family conflicts as the biggest cause for estate planning issues.

Follow these steps to set inheritance expectations for your family:

Family Meeting

When it comes to caring for loved ones and making tough decisions, there is no "perfect" way to make decisions. A family meeting is often a good way to discuss all of the concerns of the family and make a plan to support one another through this difficult time. It will also help clarify what the loved one needs and which family member is going to help with the various roles.

Five signs it's time to update your trust

According to a new survey, only forty-two percent of U.S. adults currently have a will or trust. While preparing an estate plan does require time and energy, the knowledge that you are protecting your loved ones and the assets you have worked for is all the motivation you need.

Once you have an established estate plan, it only requires occasional maintenance. Thankfully, life provides certain built-in reminders as to when that maintenance is needed.

Becoming a trustee

If you have recently been named as a trustee upon the death of a loved one, or a family member has asked you to take on the responsibility in the event of their death, you probably have a lot of questions. It is a big responsibility in many ways, but you were picked for a reason. You are a trustee because, put simply, they trust you.

There are a few things that you need to know right away. Here is a guide to what you need to do to be sure that you are up to the task that you have been trusted to do. You may also want to have your own attorney, simply for consultation, just to make sure that you are doing everything correctly.

Three reasons to update your estate plan

Estate planning is one of those things that very few people like to think about. Facing your own mortality is emotionally draining enough, but the complexities of it and desire to make sure that you have done the right thing can be simply overwhelming.

Most people who have drawn up an estate plan get peace of mind from simply having it finished. Sometimes, they have too much peace. Things change, and your estate plan has to as well. Here are three good reasons why you might want to revisit your estate plan, no matter how simple or complicated it is.

The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

The California Legislature handed millions of social networking users a huge victory by providing a clear and consistent method for digital assets and content of emails to pass to the next generation after the user has died. This issue has been a major problem for families who just want access to the pictures that their loved one locked on her iPhone or to shut down a Facebook profile to prevent identity theft. 

Digital Currency

Digital currencies present a unique issue of access.  The same reason they are being valued, their security, is the same reason they present a unique issue.  If you have purchased digital currency then you are aware there is more than one type of wallet you can use and more than one market or trading platform to purchase or sell your digital currency. There is a danger with digital currency, that without providing your agent some kind of breadcrumb trail it could disappear into the wind.  

Privacy Concerns of Passwords in Trusts and Wills

There is a legal conundrum that estate planning attorneys face when it comes to digital assets. It is an issue that did not exist 20 years ago, but it is one that has emerged and will continue to expand the more we create our own personal digital worlds. Bank account information, bills, 401k accounts, insurance, photographs, digital objects that we create, have all become an essential part of tracking and storing information.  The prevalence of digital assets has created a pain point for estate planning attorneys in which we are forced to chose between protecting a clients privacy and protecting the assets in their estate.


What are digital assets?

Digital asset is a term that has been increasingly discussed within the estate planning community in the past decade and with good reason.  Any person who has established online accounts or has created digital content has digital assets.  Think of them as the virtual form of your physical life.  Bank accounts, social media, photos, videos, and cloud-based storage - any content you create electronically becomes a digital asset. 


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