Winn Beaudry & Winn
Newsletter from Winn, Beaudry & Winn, Attorneys at Law
Issue 12
January, 2015   
Ward Beaudry
G. Ward Beaudry 
Are You Drafting a "Simple" Will, Or a "Simpleton's" Will? 

  

   If you plan to take shortcuts in drafting your "Simple Will," the "Simpleton's Will" can sometimes be the result. And while it might be simple, quick and cheap to prepare, your Simpleton Will could be complex, expensive and disruptive to the family or other heirs, and to the executor when you are gone and it comes time to deal with what's left behind.
   Do an internet search with our friend Google and you'll find a host of articles with the Top 3, Top 5 or Top 10 reasons to do a will. In fact, there are many more reasons than that, because life and relationships are usually more complex than simple. I read a recent article that listed 17 purposes for a will, and the article never claimed to cover them all.
   Among the major lessons to be learned: all of our circumstances are different, our circumstances change during the course of a life, and experienced, knowledgeable counsel is a huge asset when making decisions involved in preparation of a will.  When you hire an attorney, you are paying for advice from someone who has witnessed the expensive and divisive results of poorly-written wills.
   The Do-It-Yourself wills are growing in popularity, usually involving a software package. If you go this route, be aware of the pitfalls of missing out on the experienced advice of an attorney, the fact that Texas (and other states) have state-specific requirements in a will, the fact that the multiple choice options in the software might not cover your circumstances and the fact that the software can't help you weigh the pros and cons in your choice of an executor.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I am always happy to take your call.
 (888) 330-1467 or (214) 969-0001
or email at gwb@winnbeaudrylaw.com

Your Digital Life Will Survive You - 
Make It Part of Your Estate Plan  
   Many people are opting to go "paper free" in their communications with
utilities, banks, brokerage houses, insurance companies, the Social Security Administration and other vendors that are part of personal and business life.
   The benefits are clear as we avoid the paper clutter and gain access to the documents we need only when we really need them. The problem for our heirs will come when they try to piece all of our assets together without the benefit of a paper trail
   To get access to the "digital" trail, they will need to know not only what accounts exist, but also the usernames and passwords. Solutions to this can include a list of these on paper, but that requires constant vigilance to update. Some providers require periodic password changes, which further No Hardward Access Image complicates the issue.
   Digital password storage solutions also exist that allow one to name a "beneficiary," who with the use of one code can access the usernames and passwords upon death or incompetence as confirmed by a physician. 
   The IRS is accepting some digital documentation in audits, but stipulates that the documents must be saved in a form that is unalterable. This is an increasingly difficult standard to attain. Powerful design software has made it possible to counterfeit just about any document.  
   Some of the key questions we can discuss with you include: 
  • What types of digital assets must be addressed in an estate plan?
  • What estate planning issues are particular to this classification of property? 
  • What are the best practices for incorporating digital assets into a comprehensive estate and succession plan?
  • What laws currently exist addressing digital assets and what are anticipated future trends?
    Competent advice is just a phone call away. 
       - Ward  
DUTIES OF A TRUSTEE

   The lead story in our last newsletter outlined some of the questions to ask before you take on the serious responsibility of acting as someone's trustee. Here is a list of some of the key duties of a trustee.

  

  • Find & protect trust assets
  • Separate the assets from all other property
  • Read the trust and make sure instructions and laws are followed
  • Use good judgment, deferring to wishes expressed in the trust
  • Act with loyalty and impartiality
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • Enforce claims the trust may have and defend from claims of others
  • Act reasonably and impartially in discretionary matters
  • Do required accounting reports for beneficiaries
  • Keep information confidential
  For assistance with any estate issues, please contact Mr. Beaudry at 214-969-0001 or by email at gwb@winnbeaudrylaw.com.

 

G. Ward Beaudry, Esq.   
gwb@winnbeaudrylaw.com       
      View my profile on LinkedIn                                                

 


4200 Thanksgiving Tower
1601 Elm Street
Dallas, Texas 75201-7203

Telephone: 214-969-0001
www.winnbeaudrylaw.com

This E-letter is intended to stimulate thought and discussion, and to provide you with some useful ideas and guidance in the areas of estate planning and business law. The materials and comments made herein do not constitute and should not be treated as legal advice regarding the use of any particular estate or business planning or other technique, device or suggestion or any of the tax or other consequences associated with them. Although we have made every effort to ensure the accurancy of this information, Winn, Beaudry & Winn does not assume any responsibility for any individual's reliance on the information presented in this document. Each reader should verify independently all statements made in this E-letter before applying them to a particular situation and should determine independently the tax and other consequences of using any particular device, technique or suggestion before recommending it to others. 

 

The information contained in this electronic message is legally privileged and confidential under applicable law and the information may be protected from disclosure under the Attorney-Client Privilege and/or the Attorney Work Product Privilege. This electronic message is intended only for the use of the individual(s) or entity named above. If the recipient of this message is not the above-named intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, copy or disclosure of this communication is strictly prohibited and may carry criminal and/or civil penalties and civil liabilities for unauthorized disclosure, dissemination or copying. If you have received this communication in error, please notify Winn, Beaudry & Winn at (214) 969-0001 and purge the communication immediately from your computer system without making any copy or distribution.

Treasury Circular 230 Required Statements:

 

Tax practitioners authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service are subject to the requirements of "Circular 230" (31 CFR part 10), as published by the Treasury Department.  The Treasury Department has made significant changes to Circular 230, effective June 20, 2005, that affect the form and content of tax advice that we provide. In order to comply with these new changes, while minimizing the cost to our clients, we are including the following statements in all of our e-mail communications.  If you have any question about the statements, please do not hesitate to contact the sender.

1. Any tax advice contained in this e-mail (including any attachments) was not intended or written by the sender of this e-mail to be used, and cannot be used by the recipient or any other person, for the purpose of avoiding any Internal Revenue Code penalties that may be imposed on such person. 

2. Any tax advice contained in this e-mail (including any attachments) was not intended or written by the sender of this e-mail to be used or referred to, and cannot be used or referred to, in promoting, marketing, or recommending the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed herein.

In This Issue

News!

 

20-Somethings

Need Planning, Too! 

 

Planning Graph

 

Most people in this age bracket are unaware of the implications of minimal estate planning documents. We recommend at least the following for young adults:   

 Read More

 

    

Support Ward's Ride for Leukemia & Lymphoma Battle 
 
Ward has committed to America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride, a 100-mile cycling event on June 7 to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The event winds through the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe.  
To support Ward and the victims and their  families, you can go here to contribute.


Lake Tahoe View 
Typical View on America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride.
Ward honored again for 2015 as a Top Rated Lawyer and a Top Attorney in Texas 


Top Lawyer 2013
 
 

Among G. Ward Beaudry's qualifications

- Accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
 - Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
 - Member, College of the State Bar of Texas 
 

 

 

 

 
Thanksgiving Tower 
4200
Thanksgiving Tower