Digital assets – meet LifeLocker, the essential Executor tool

The issue of Digital assets has come up again in the mainstream press. It was covered on the CBC in Canada and then was picked up by media outlets around the World. The Washington post ran with the headline

Her dying husband left her the house and the car, but he forgot the Apple password

The Daily Mail in the UK also ran the story with the headline “Widow who wanted her dead husband’s Apple ID so she could play games on their iPad is refused and told to get a COURT order instead”. The Sydney Morning Herald also alerted its readers. Google news is claiming 19,000 separate news articles about Peggy Bush, the 72 year old Canadian widow who simply wanted to play some games on the family iPad. The card game stopped working so she wanted to update it. To do this, she needed her late husband’s Apple ID password.

The best option that Apple gave her was to create a new Apple ID, but this would mean re-purchasing all of the games that had already been purchased by her husband. There was no way of transferring the games from one Apple ID account to another.

Apple suggested that they would only be able to release the User ID and password of the account with a court order. The general reaction was that this was a little unsympathetic to the situation; all of Peggy’s late husband’s assets had been successfully transferred, and nobody, including banks and insurance companies, had required a court order to do this. Continue reading

The six most common errors in a do it yourself Will.

Every once in a while a news article appears that describes how a person made a mistake when preparing a “do it yourself Will”. The legal profession often latch onto these articles as a warning for anybody thinking of preparing their own do it yourself Will, suggesting that if the person in the article made a mistake, it follows that you should probably seek legal advice.

Clearly people make mistakes. Even lawyers make mistakes when preparing Wills, like this one who had a couple accidentally sign each other’s Wills. However, it would be disingenuous to use this example as a cautionary tale, and suggest that you should avoid using a lawyer because they always get things wrong.

So I have gathered up some recent news articles, and looked at some of our own support questions and listed the six most common mistakes people make when preparing a do it yourself Will.

do it yourself Wills Continue reading

Writing a Legal Will: the worst advice we have seen yet

writing a legal Will

Much of our customer support effort is spent on correcting misunderstandings that have usually arisen from bad information that has been posted on the Internet. As with anything that you do once or twice in your lifetime, the terms will be unfamiliar, and there will be a lot to learn. But the task is made that much more difficult by woefully incorrect information that proliferates on different “advice blogs”. The example at the top of the page is from a reasonably well respected resource at Nerdwallet (we couldn’t help but post a comment under their article, so they may have fixed it if you click through). But this staff writer, who doesn’t appear to have any legal training has written; Continue reading

Power of Attorney, it’s written, but is that enough?

Most people recognize that a Financial Power of Attorney (PoA) is a critical part of a complete estate plan. While a Last Will and Testament describes the distribution of your estate after you have passed away, the financial Power of Attorney allows you to give somebody to power to handle your business affairs if you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to take care of your finances yourself. This article discusses the implications of creating a Financial PoA. Keep in mind that we are not dealing with a healthcare PoA in this article which is an entirely different document.

Power of Attorney

Background to the Financial Power of Attorney

A financial PoA allows you (the grantor, principal or donor) to grant power to another person (the attorney-in-fact or agent) to handle specific or general financial tasks under defined circumstances. This gives rise to the different types of financial PoA; they can be “special” or “limited” if they grant specific powers to the agent, or you can create a “general Power of Attorney” if the powers are not to be restricted.

There are three types of general PoA Continue reading