Team Tisser Foundation (TTF) is a non-profit corporation founded by Doron M. Tisser and his wife Laurie. TTF raises money for various charitable purposes and does not focus on any one charity or charitable purpose. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to "Help Make A Difference" by "Improving Life for Others." TTF has made donations to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Challenged Athletes Foundation, as well as charities helping people affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunamis. Since 2000, TTF has donated over $250,000 to over 40 different charities. Friends and clients generally donate money to TTF to support Doron's participation in triathlons and marathons. If you would like more information about TTF, please contact Doron at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.teamtisser.org
Doron M. Tisser
Doron M. Tisser has specialized in estate and
gift planning, tax planning, trust and probate
administration, charitable giving, buy-sell
agreements and related areas for over 30 years.
Mr. Tisser is one of less than 100 attorneys in
California who has been designated as both a
Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning
and Trust Law, and as a Certified Specialist in
Taxation Law by the State Bar of California
Board of Legal Specialization. He was chosen
by his peers as a Super Lawyer for 2009, 2010,
2011, and 2012 for Southern California, and
enjoys an "a.v." rating by Martindale-Hubbell
Law Directory, which is the highest possible
rating and is based on ethical considerations
and legal skills. Mr. Tisser has
published over 65 articles and chapters
in books on various estate and tax
planning subjects and is a frequent
speaker and lecturer at estate and tax
planning seminars. Mr. Tisser competes
in triathlons, including Ironman
races, and raises money for charities
through Team Tisser Foundation, a
non-profit corporation he co-founded
with his wife Laurie.
Tisser Law Group is pleased to announce that Brian H. Standing, Esq. has become a Shareholder at the firm. Brian continues to practice in the areas of Estate and Tax Planning, Probate and Trust Administration.
We will be having our 4th Annual Conference on The State of Estate Planning in the coming months and will let you know as soon as we have the date. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact either Laura at
email@example.com, or Amber at
If you would like Doron M. Tisser to speak to your group or organization about the new estate tax laws, trust administration or other estate planning subjects, please contact Laura at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call Laura at (818)226-9125.
DIGITAL ASSETS AND ESTATE PLANNING
What do your Facebook account, your online bill paying accounts, your e-mail account, your house and your money have in common? They are all assets that you need to consider as part of your estate planning.
While many of us have taken the time to plan how to distribute our house, money and other tangible assets when we die, we have not spent any time thinking about how our digital assets should be handled.
What are digital assets? They are generally online accounts that require a user name and password, as well as files stored on computers, mobile phones, DVDs and similar items, and back-ups stored on third party servers (sometimes referred to as the "cloud").
The issues with digital assets are what happens to them when you die or become incapacitated and how they are to be accessed and distributed to your heirs. For purposes of this article, we will call the person who is to have access to your digital assets your "successor".
One of the biggest issues a successor has when a person dies or becomes incapacitated is locating his or her assets and accounts (other than digital assets). If the successor is unable to locate the assets (such as bank and brokerage accounts), he or she can usually gain access to those accounts either through a Will or a trust (at death) or by way of a power of attorney (at incapacitation).
With digital assets, the process of locating and accessing the information is even more difficult.
The first obstacle is simply identifying the assets or accounts. Unless the person has prepared and maintained a list of online accounts and kept it in a place where his or her successor will find it, such as with his or her other estate planning documents, the successor will have to ask family members, review computer histories and review paper statements. If the person elected not to receive any paper statements once his or her online account was established, there may be no physical record of the account for the successor.
The second obstacle is accessing the accounts once the successor is aware of them. Without specific instructions left for the successor, including usernames and passwords, the successor will not be able to access the accounts.
The websites themselves may have no clear policy for allowing access to a deceased person’s accounts by family members or successors. Or, even worse, they may have a policy requiring automatic closure of accounts as soon as they are notified of deaths, and files may be deleted by the company, your bills may not get paid, and the accounts will not be able to be preserved for future generations.
Here are some common situations where access to digital assets is important:
- Family Pictures. More and more people are storing family pictures on various websites. Before online storage and digital pictures, families would take pictures and hand them down from generation to generation. Without proper planning for digital assets, there is a risk that all of the family pictures will be lost.
- Online Bill Pay. If you do your bill paying online and your successor does not have access to those accounts, the accounts may become delinquent, resulting in penalties and interest and, in a worst case, the default on your mortgage.
- Investment Accounts. If your investment account has a margin that needs to be paid, failure to have access to that account can cause great economic loss.
- Identity Theft Prevention. It may also be necessary to have immediate access to your digital assets to review account activity to prevent identity theft.
With all of the uncertainty about digital assets, what is the best way to proceed at this time? In our next newsletter, we will discuss our planning recommendations
for ensuring a successor’s access to, and preservation of, digital assets.