The holidays are a time for family to gather together and share in the warmth of the season. But filling up on turkey and apple pie are not the only activities in which you can engage this season. For many, the holidays also provide one of the only opportunities of the year when adult children can sit down with their parents and siblings to discuss practical matters. Chief among these are the importance of establishing a plan - and related legal documents - should something go wrong with the well-being of elderly relatives.Read more: http://business.financialpost.com/2011/12/13/why-holidays-might-be-the-best-time-to-talk-estate-planning/ A living trust has advantages that a will cannot offer, so it is valuable to seriously consider acquiring or maintaining both. A living trust, or a trust set up during your life time as opposed to after your death, can be an important addition to your estate plan because it allows your estate to be settled more quickly, as assets in a trust do not have to go through a probate process. It also places someone in charge of your estate should you become incapacitated – an important consideration in the management of your investments. Read more here: http://time.com/money/3456629/living-trust-benefits-drawbacks/ Click on this link for an article about estate planning that was published on Page 12 of the Capitol Hill Village September 2014 newsletter: http://www.capitolhillvillage.org/documents/09-14_CHVNews.pdf What happens to your Gmail account when you die? What about your Facebook page or your Twitter account? Well, it's not clear. A few states have enacted legislation to give executors and personal representatives the power to access the digital accounts of the deceased, while most states rely merely on the privacy policies of the service providers, such as Google, or Twitter or whatever company hosts the account. Click on this link to see where your state falls with respect to this issue: https://www.everplans.com/tools-and-resources/state-by-state-digital-estate-planning-laws. The current lack of legal clarity can cause huge disruption and frustration in peoples' lives, as is evident in this story from the Columbus Dispatch: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2014/08/03/access-to-online-accounts-of-deceased-not-a-given.html. What all this means is that when doing your estate planning, it is vitally important these days to make arrangements for your digital accounts, just as you do for your financial accounts. Estate planning is not just for the elderly, and Johnson Law Group is expert in estate planning and administration. We counsel our clients on a wide range of estate issues, including wills, trusts, special needs trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, powers of attorney, estate tax issues, among others. Every adult should have an estate plan specifying what should happen to their property when they die; otherwise, the government will decide for him or her. While most people prefer not to think too far ahead, debilitating illness and death is a reality that is, for most of us, unplanned. It is much better, and far more helpful for family and friends, to plan ahead rather than to rely on your local government to distribute your assets according to its laws, as opposed to your needs. Johnson Law Group recommends that every adult should execute a testamentary document (either a trust or a will or both); an advance healthcare directive (“living will”); and a durable power of attorney. The cost of establishing such an estate plan is nominal, and the process is uncomplicated. By taking this step, Johnson Law Group clients are comforted by the knowledge that should the worst happen, their loved ones will be taken care of in a thoughtful and expedient manner. Call our offices to set up a free initial consultation.