Legacy / Values

Monday, March 30, 2015

Your Facebook Page Can Live On Through a Legacy Contact

What sort of estate planning should you do for "digital assets"?

It is commonplace for people to expend time and resources on estate planning involving their physical property and possessions. But what becomes of your digital assets? Will your social networking pages, blogs and photo feeds simply remain on the web, unchanged forever? That is what typically happened on Facebook—until now.

Facebook has announced a new feature, Legacy, which allows you to designate someone to manage your page when you are gone. A family member, friend or whomever you appoint will have certain limited powers to manage your page.

Upon presenting proof of death—a death certificate, obituary or other documentation—your legacy contact can post a death notice, funeral announcement, final message or other information on your Facebook page. He or she can also accept or reject new friend requests and can update profile and cover photos. The legacy contact cannot, however, access your private messages, delete past Facebook posts or photos, or remove any friends.

The option to name a Legacy contact can be found in the "Settings" section on the upper right-hand side of a Facebook page. You can notify the legacy contact you have designated; if you do not, Facebook will not notify the designee of his or her selection until it receives proof of your death from some source. If you are not comfortable with the idea of a legacy contact, you can instead select an option that tells Facebook to delete your account permanently upon your death.

Facebook is, of course, just one of many sites that could outlive you. It might be worth considering leaving specific instructions concerning the handling of your LinkedIn connections, Pinterest pins, Spotify playlists and so on.

While other issues may take precedence, it is becoming increasingly important to consider your digital assets as a topic for discussion with your estate planner. Experienced Nevada estate and business planning attorney Craig Stone has the knowledge to effectively advise you about all aspects of your estate plan. Call (877)905-0890 for a consultation today.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Welcome - The Laws of the Harvest

Welcome to the grand "re-launching" of our website and my very first formal blog!! It has been a long, interesting journey in bringing our former website up-to-date, learning about all of the new social media options, and, most of all, getting back to basics in drafting the content.  My goal was to create a resource that was interactive with clients and advisors (and the merely curious), while serving to educate and inspire you to think about wealth in a more holistic manner, and motivate you to take the next steps in creating an estate or business plan that was truly a reflection of your purposes, passions, goals, and dreams.  In that regard, I hope you find our website and this blog to be valuable.  Check back often as it is a work-in-progress and will surely be better with your feedback.

When pondering how to start this blog, I thought I would begin with the end….that is, the story that I tell at the end of most of my speaking engagements.  Typically, I close my comments with the "Laws of the Harvest", a set of guiding principles that I believe are present in all aspects of our lives - financial, work/business, and most importantly, our relationships.  I invite you to contemplate where these principles apply in your life:

  • Law #1 - You will always reap what you sow.  If you want an apple tree, you have to plant an apple seed; you can't plant an orange seed.  In life, finances, and business, it is critical that you identify your goals and objectives, i.e., where you want to go.  Until this is done, it is impossible to determine the action steps needed to achieve your goals, much less be able to determine when you have arrived at your destination.  In effect, if you want long-term financial security, you have to decide what that looks like and live a life consistent with that goal.  Similarly, if you value truthfulness, hard-work, fun, mindfulness or connection in your relationships, then you have to model those same values through your own life.  Plant the seeds you want and you will get the same back.
  • Law #2 - You will always reap much later after you sow.  If you plant an apple seed in the morning, you don't get an apple tree by that afternoon.  Reaping the harvest comes much later, after you have tended, nurtured, and cared for your tender sapling.  Even after you identify your goals and the action steps to get you there, you have to monitor the progress and adjust for the "head-winds" and incidents of life.  You will have constant changes in family members (births, deaths, divorces), changes in family relationships (disagreements, reconciliations, rivalries), changes in laws (just look at the estate and income tax laws over the past 12 years), and changes in assets (windfalls, pitfalls, and potholes).  Change is constant; as such, estate and business planning is not a static, one-time event, but a dynamic, fluid process that you will want to review and update occasionally as your life deals you new cards.  Likewise, the time, energy and presence that you invest in your relationships may take a while to take hold and be returned to you in kind.
  • Law #3 - You will always reap much more than you sow.  If you plant an apple seed, you get much more than an apple tree in return; you get a tree that will produce fruit (more apples!!) for many years.  Eventually, the plans and relationships that you pursue today, and nurture along the way, will be returned to you, both in kind and in abundance.  Persevere, hold-the-line, keep hangin' on……these may all sound cliche, but there is a truth in all of them.  When we live our lives in the present, and properly plan for our futures, we have a significantly greater chance of not only achieving, but exceeding our goals - greater security, control over our lives, more options and choices, confidence in outcome, and closer relationships.  As for me, I would rather live "in the margin" rather than "on the margin."  But, in order for this to happen, I have to plant those seeds today, and tend my garden, until I can reap the harvest of my dreams.

At the end of our lives, we will all leave behind a story…a legacy.  Whether that story is good or bad, intended or happenstance, recorded or remembered, is, ultimately, determined by the seeds of our lives.  What will your story be?

I look forward to this journey, this grand adventure of life.  I hope that, in some small measure, I can be of assistance in your journey.         

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S. Craig Stone II of Stone Law Offices, Ltd. serves clients throughout Clark County, Southern NV, Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Carson City, Reno, Washoe County, and Nye County. Also serving clients with asset protection nationwide.

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