Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A will for your facebook account?

A will for your facebook account? It might not be as strange as if seems. Most Americans spend hours online posting pictures on facebook, writing a blog about their personal views or how-to tips or even create a website. What will happen to these sites when you pass? For emotional reasons you may want to decide who is able to post article or comments on your pages. If your sites generate income, then even more so do you need to determine who is the moderator and what you want to be done with your sites. The first decision you will have to make is whether or not you want to keep the web site up and running after you are gone. Even if you decide it should be shut down, there are things you need to prepare for. First, you’ll need to select someone to shut things down for you and provide them with a contact list and a set of instructions, including whether or not you want your web site saved to disc for posterity. If you have young children, such a keepsake memory might be a good idea. In addition, it needs to contain the details for your web hosting service and passwords and contact details for any advertising or affiliate programs you might have operating. Perhaps the most important issue is password information. For this you want to make sure you have someone you can trust. There is an Internet web site called Dead Man’s Switch that automates this process for you if you have no one to handle it. What happens is the system starts kicking into action when you begin failing to reply to emails. You store your contact information on the site – which has adequate security – and it begins the process of notifying whomever you want notified. If you want to keep the web site up, you’ll need to select someone to manage it. They’ll need the same kinds of contact information you would need to record and store should you want the site shut down. If you have a life partner who knows little about your Internet business, a discussion of how she or he would want things handled in the event of your passing is highly appropriate. In this way, you can take more time to teach your partner what he or she needs to know to run the site, or to whom they can turn for help. Finally, there’s the matter of an obituary. If you’ve had your web site up for awhile you have undoubtedly made contacts, some of which may have become personal as well as business related. The Internet stretches across the globe and a friend in China will never see the announcement in your local paper. There are Internet businesses that can handle this for you. You simply need to supply them with a list of people to contact and they will email those who should know once the company has been informed of your passing. While planning for anything involving your own death can be stressful, doing so will help alleviate the burdens of those left behind.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Update on Fiscal Cliff

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has agreed to raise taxes on Americans making more than $1 million, reversing an earlier decision that Bush-era tax cuts should remain intact for all Americans, rather than just those making less than $250,000 a year as President Obama requested. The move is a "gesture toward compromise" as Republicans and Democrats work to resolve budget issues to avoid looming tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. The millionaire tax hikes would increase federal coffers by some $1 trillion over 10 years. President Obama has demanded $1.4 trillion in new revenue

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary

As a mother and daughter, I am sending my love, prayers and tears to all those innocent souls affected by last Friday's horrible school shooting. Every day I drop my daughter off at school believing that she will be safe. It's events like this that show how fragile life really is and how we can never take our children's hugs for granted. In learning more about the details of that sad event, I hope that my daughter has such heroic teachers in her life. Despite everything, they tried to create a haven of calmness, love and safety. Their acts of bravery still send chills down my spine. May their names never be forgotten. And, may those parents, who had their worst nightmares come true, know that they are not alone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How does the fiscal cliff affect you!

When you turn on the news you will hear a lot of talk about the fiscal cliff. So far the conversation has revolved around the top wage earners and entitlement reform. However, there is a lot more at play. Currently, estate tax laws reduce the rate Americans pay on inheritances and increase the threshold amount under which estates are exempt from the tax. The tax was briefly repealed altogether in 2010, before it was reenacted in a 2010 compromise which set the estate tax rate at 35% for estates valued at more than $5 million ($10 million for a couple), indexed to inflation If we go over the cliff ie no Congressional action, the estate tax will revert to its pre-2001 form January 1st. Under that version of the law, estates valued over $1 million were subject to an estate tax on a graduated basis from 37% to 55%, and a 5% surtax was imposed on some estates valued at over $10 million, which would eliminate the benefit of the graduated rate for very large estates. Once Congress and the President conclude the fiscal cliff debates, it will be a good idea to sit down with your estate planner to discuss how the new laws affect you and your family.