According to the New York Times, 41 percent of people are now cremated. Cremation is most popular in Nevada, 73 percent, and least popular in Mississippi, 13 percent. In Tennessee, approximately 16 percent of people choose cremation.
Author Archives: Asa Baker
I recently attended a continuing legal education course by Natalie B. Choate on planning for retirement benefits. Natalie wrote the book on retirement benefits so I was glad for the opportunity to hear her live.
The Tennessee Attorney General has issued an opinion on Tennessee Asset Protection Trusts. For those of you who do not know, the Tennessee Investment Services Act allows a person to create an asset protection trust that shields assets from future creditors. The Attorney General clarified that “with respect to a creditor’s claim arising after a qualified disposition, Tenn. Code Ann. 35-16-104(a) grafts an additional limitation on the UFTA’s [Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act] provisions by requiring such a creditor to show that the qualified disposition was made with the actual intent to defraud the creditor.” In sum, good news for people using trusts and bad news for creditors.
An article from the Associated Press shows that 64 percent of baby boomers do not have a health care proxy or living will. According to one boomer who was interviewed, “I’m very healthy for my age.”
To the baby boomers, I ask, “When will you ever learn?” (Isn’t that a song from the baby boomer generation?). It isn’t about you. Or how you feel. It’s about your spouse, your children, or others close to you. As the article wisely notes, “the two documents can spare families a painful fight.”
Even if it was about you, isn’t it easier to get a health care advance directive when you are healthy and productive than when you are sick? And don’t you get more value out of a living will the longer that it is in place even if you are healthy? There are a lot of things that you can procrastinate; however, a health care proxy or living will is not one of them.
Forbes explores how to talk about estate planning. Conversation starters:
- “In case something happens to me”
- “We’re not getting any younger”
- “Now that we’re parents”
An interesting article from Macworld on what happens to your iTunes library when you die. While you may inherit your parents’ Beatles records, it doesn’t look like your children will be getting your iTunes licenses.
A lengthy piece from the New York Times Magazine on what happens to your online identity after you die. Key points:
- Increasingly, people keep their most precious memories online.
- Keeping your memories online has problems, and death compounds those problems.
- Basically, we are well past the point where your loved ones can find and keep your most precious memories by searching through your house.
- If you cannot remember all of the places where you have uploaded photos (Flickr, Facebook, Shutterfly, Twitpic, Instagram, etc.), think how much harder it will be for your loved ones to find those photos after your death.
- Even if your loved ones can locate your digital memories, they may not be able to access them. Your online photos and memories do not pass to your family on your death; rather, they are governed by your terms of service.
- To date, there is no good public or private solution to these problems. In the future, we may hope for legislation that at least gives your executor access to your online accounts.
- A low-tech solution may be to keep a list of your online accounts along with your will, financial power of attorney, health care advance directive and other important documents in a safe place.
I am pleased to announce the launch of a blog on Tennessee Estate Planning and Probate.