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Deciding About Electronic Wills

I have written previously about digital assets and the growing importance of those assets within Estate Planning.  There is much more being written about digital assets as they relate to Estate Planning.

Digital assets are electronic and recently The Colorado Bar Association is taking an intense look at the issues surrounding electronic wills. What is an electronic will?  To simplify for the purpose of this article it is a will/document that is signed and stored electronically.  (Do not confuse this with an on-line  document that one can print and then file in paper form.)

The main points about electronic wills revolve around the signing, witnessing and notarizing of the electronic will. The person making the will (the testator) signs the will electronically (using a computer, tablet or other electronic device), not with pen and ink.  The witnesses (remote witnesses) sign the will electronically (and can be virtually anywhere in the world to do the signing). The will is notarized electronically and one can assume that the will is then stored electronically.

The only state at the time of this writing that permits electronic wills is Nevada. According to an article in Technologist * “Nevada was the first state to authorize electronic wills, and includes safeguards for authentication. It requires that electronic wills be authenticated through finger prints, retinal scan, voice recognition, facial recognition, digital signature or other unique authentication process.”

Do electronic wills simplify the process of making a will? For those who are comfortable with technology and the concept of electronic wills, probably.

Does an electronic will afford adequate protection/privacy/security for the testator? That question remains to be answered. There are matters of safekeeping, privacy, storage and custodianship of an electronic will.

Is an electronic will secure and can it offer the same legal protections as having a paper/hard copy document? That depends upon technology advancements and ongoing legislation.

Can electronic wills stand up to the test of revisions, codicils, and legal challenges from beneficiaries? The jury is still out and each state will be working through legislation on the topic.

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* Will Electronic Wills Be Legal Soon?  By William Vogeler, Esq.  (March 23, 2017)

 

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Mixing Up The Generations

Recently, an interesting headline caught my eye about the “Senior” class of Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona campus. No, I am not writing about those students who are ready to graduate.

There is a movement to build apartments for SENIORS (yes, the older generation) on the campus of the university.

“Arizona State University is looking to put a new twist on senior living in Arizona by opening a retirement community on a college campus.”*

*New kind of senior living: ASU wants retirement community on Tempe campus By Mike Sackley | April 13, 2016 @ 5:15 am KTAR news

Yep, it would be a campus for and of retirees! The proposed ‘senior’ development would consist of 230 units for independent living retirees and 60 units for those retirees requiring assisted living.

The upside: proximity to vibrant young community; promised benefits: ability to audit classes; dining, health club and game room on premises; student i.d. for library use;  concierge services;  possibly even a doctor on call. It will remain to be seen whether all or most of these benefits are achieved by the developers.  Things are currently in the planning stages for the project.

The downside – proximity to community of ‘youth’ with possibly different ideology/values from your own; costs/fees (although these have not been established; the costs of all of the above could be outside the reach of many retirees…time will tell.)

The concept: Although intergenerational developments are not unique, the concept of having such a development as part of a college campus definitely is unique.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website: www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for more articles and informative infographics

Wait A Second!

We will all be getting another second of living this year. Yes, one entire second is being added to the official time calculation.  There is an actual agency that tracks such things called The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS).

It was announced that this extra second is being added because the atomic clocks failed to match the Earth’s rotation. To alleviate the one second discrepancy the IERS will add one second in December, 2016.

Where does the one second come from? To me that is a mystery.  But in this hectic world we can always use extra time. Does one second really matter?  Yes, it does to sync with devices that depend on the earth’s rotation… think satellites.

Another way to think of one second is that with a very very very fast computer one might be able to accomplish several stock transactions!

The IERS was established in 1987 and their website is http://www.iers.org .

According to their site: “The IERS provides data on Earth orientation, on the International Celestial Reference System/Frame, on the International Terrestrial Reference System/Frame, and on geophysical fluids. It maintains also Conventions containing models, constants and standards.”

 And if that was not enough…here is the official bulletin published on the website concerning that additional one second:

“A positive leap second will be introduced at the end of December 2016. The sequence of dates of the UTC second markers will be: 2016 December 31, 23h 59m 59s 2016 December 31, 23h 59m 60s 2017 January 1, 0h 0m 0s The difference between UTC and the International Atomic Time TAI is: from 2015 July 1, 0h UTC, to 2017 January 1 0h UTC : UTC-TAI = – 36s from 2017 January 1, 0h UTC, until further notice : UTC-TAI = – 37s Leap seconds can be introduced in UTC at the end of the months of December or June, depending on the evolution of UT1-TAI. Bulletin C is mailed every six months, either to announce a time step in UTC or to confirm that there will be no time step at the next possible date. Christian Bizouard Head Earth Orientation Center of IERS Observatoire de Paris, France”

 I really just added that information to impress. You can read other articles on their website.

So when you tell someone to “just wait a second” you now have that extra second to spend. Use it wisely.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website: www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for more articles and informative infographics