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The Caldwell Trust Company Blog

Digital Wealth: How to Protect Your Online Business in the Long Run

Posted by Scott Antritt

If you’re like most online business owners, you’ve likely invested a lot of time, resources and energy into your online business. But have you ever stopped to wonder what will happen to your business if you die? While running an online business may differ from running a brick-and-mortar operation in many ways, there’s at least one critical commonality: owners need a plan in place to protect both the business and their loved ones in the event of their own death. Enter digital estate planning.

Here’s a closer look at what all online business owners should know about safeguarding their business with a digital estate plan.

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Topics: Digital Assets, Trusts & Estate Planning

The Cost of Leaving No Will and Why Everyone Needs One

Posted by Wendy Fishman


If you don’t have a will, you’re far from alone. In fact, a 2017 Caring.com study reveals that 60% of Americans don’t have wills for a variety of reasons, including not wanting to think about such a difficult topic, lack of time, no kids, and having a small estate. There are even celebrities who fall into this category, including Prince and Aretha Franklin who recently passed without leaving a will.

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

A Breakdown of Key Elements Inside an Estate Plan

Posted by Gina B. Jordan, CFP® , CTFA

Estate planning is something that people know they should do, but most never do it. In fact, nearly 60% of adults lack important estate-planning documents, according to a Caring.com study.

Although it may be uncomfortable, estate planning has a positive impact in your time of need, giving you and your family reassurance that your wishes will be carried out upon your death. If you don’t have an estate plan in place, you risk giving the court control over how your assets are distributed, or worse even, your entire estate can go to the state. In either case, you may cause your grieving family a great deal of stress and trouble that could have been avoided with an estate plan.

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

What Happens If You Don't Have an Estate Plan?

Posted by Sonya Kristie

An estate plan gives you the opportunity to proactively manage your individual asset base if an accident, illness, or other event should leave you incapacitated or deceased.

With proper estate planning, you can provide clear instructions for managing and distributing your assets and liabilities, and ensure your decisions are carried out. A few key components of estate planning include selecting who will receive your assets, as well as who will be responsible for paying any outstanding debts and settling any estate taxes.

Most people turn to an attorney who has experience in estate law to ensure they have done everything correctly, to make important estate plan updates, and to provide counsel if needed.

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

Estate Planning Terms Defined: Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, Letter of Instruction, and More

Posted by Gina B. Jordan, CFP® , CTFA

Estate planning is something each of us needs to do. In the event of illness or death, an estate plan makes it easier for your loved ones to manage your affairs and assets.

The prospect of completing your estate plan, however, can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t understand the terminology. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the most common words used in planning the management and disposition of your assets upon your death. When you have a better grasp on key terms, you’ll be better prepared to complete an estate plan that meets your needs and helps your loved ones cope with whatever the future brings.

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

We Live in the Future: Plan for Digital Asset Management

Posted by Tony Blasini, CPC, QPA

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Topics: Digital Assets, Trusts & Estate Planning, Living Wills

Tips for Having Conversations with Your Family About Estate Planning

Posted by Sonya Kristie

Talking about estate planning with your loved ones isn’t always easy. In fact, it can sometimes feel a bit morbid and uncomfortable for everyone involved. However, having frank conversations now can be a valuable gift for those you care about most, helping avoid or limit frustration, confusion, and other potential issues later. When you’re able to engage in an open dialogue with loved ones, you can make sure they understand the reasoning behind your decisions. Such conversations can also help heirs feel prepared, so when the time comes to execute your plan, they are not in the dark.

Here are four tips that can help make family estate planning discussions somewhat easier for you and everyone involved:

1. Start Early (and Repeat)

While it makes sense to hold off on talking about specifics with young children, there is no reason you cannot engage your children and grandchildren in discussions about your personal and family values starting at a young age. Talking generally about what’s most important to you can help create a common understanding for your legacy. Having age-appropriate discussions with adult children, and with your nominated personal representative, trustee, attorney-in-fact, and health care agent is the best way to ensure your wishes will be honored and carried out. Don’t wait until you become ill or until a crisis strikes.

However, having the conversation once is just the start (and a good start). There are some key life occurrences that call for an updated estate plan, and possibly updated conversations as well. You can learn more about those here.  

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

5 Life Occurrences When Your Estate Plan Should Be Updated

Posted by Jan Miller

If you already have your will, trust, and other estate planning documents in place, congratulations. You’ve taken an important step toward ensuring your wishes will be carried out when you die, or during periods of lifetime incapacity. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking your documents are carved in stone; they’re not. In fact, you should review them every three years or even more frequently, such as when reviewing your financial plan. Several types of life events could necessitate changes to your existing estate planning documents:

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

Additional Tax Reform in Sight?

Posted by Chris McGee, CFA CAIA

We are always looking to add value to client relationships. One way to achieve this is to make our clients aware of potentialities that have a decent chance of becoming reality. Along these lines we want to give everyone a “heads up” on talk of additional tax stimulus which is gaining traction in political circles in D.C.

While attending an annual economic conference in Washington this spring the idea of indexing capital gains for inflation was brought up. Subsequently, a number of articles have appeared in the financial press, and of late an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

Your Digital Assets Can Be Protected: Here's 5 Assets To Consider Including When Estate Planning

Posted by Sandy Pepper

When most people are ready to develop their estate plan, they want to develop a strong plan for the future and ensure that all of their assets and property go to the right people. Yet many times, they forget about the online assets they use each and every day. That’s because it’s easy to overlook just how much these assets are worth and what happens to these assets when you go. For one thing, there’s the emotional value; your online activity is an extension of yourself. For another, there’s real monetary value — depending on the source, the average American has between $35,000 and $55,000 in digital assets.

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Topics: Digital Assets, Trusts & Estate Planning

 


 

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