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Estate Planning in the Digital Age

What happens to your online life when you die? Where will your online assets go?

These are questions that have never before crossed the minds of many estate planning attorneys, in fact, case law in this area is just beginning to develop. But as the digital age of social networking, cloud computing and paperless transactions has filtered into nearly every aspect of our lives, estate planning attorneys are beginning to request that their clients provide them with information about their online presence as part of the general estate planning questionnaire. This can be an extensive list, consisting of different user names and passwords from all the different websites that may have your information. Taking an inventory of your digital assets is a crucial step toward beginning to plan for that day when you are no longer physically able to tweet, pay bills online or update your status. Read more

Washington Trust Law Gets an Overhaul

On May 12, 2011, Governor Gregoire signed Substitute House Bill 1051 which enacted sweeping changes to Washington trust law.   These changes will have a significant impact on the administration of trusts, the duties of trustees and the rights of trust beneficiaries.  The new law will apply to all trusts created before, on, or after January 1, 2012.   If you have a revocable trust as your primary estate planning document, the new law does not require you to make any changes.   However, individuals may want to revise their estate planning documents in order to address issues that may arise due to the new provisions regarding notice to beneficiaries of the existence of the trust. Read more