Planned Departure – Leave memories … not a mess

Planned Departure is all about planning well in life so that you leave memories and not a mess!

It is about starting the conversation and answering some important questions such as:

  • Is your life plan ready?
  • How do you want to plan for your family?
  • Offer the best education?
  • Or gift them happiness?
  • Or hope things will eventually fall in place?
  • Have you taken any financial advice?
  • Do you have life insurance or critical illness cover?
  • Or Do you have a Will in place?
  • Have you started the important conversation?
  • Such as where all your documents are?
  • Or shared your secret recipe?
  • Does your family know your assets and investments?
  • Or your liabilities!
  • Are they aware of important online accounts?
  • Can your family find everything they need?
  • Even when you are not around?
  • Will you leave them CHAOS ? Or Mess?
  • Or Will you leave them memories?
  • Have you planned for everything? or anything?

Now you can!!

With Planned Departure,

  • Organise scattered information in one place.
  • Leave clear instructions.
  • Put everything in order.
  • Ensure everything is there even when you are not.

We can help you avoid the mess

So that you can focus on creating memories.
Planned Departure – Leave memories… not a mess!

Sign up now and start planning.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year
Happy New Year

We would like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous 2016.

Please continue to support us by sharing our content and inviting others to join our platform.

Start planning now in the new year.

Is your life plan ready?

Infographic on planning at different stages in life.

What I learnt from my father’s experience and from my own is that it is very important to plan. 

And, Planning is not a static exercise it is dynamic.

Our circumstances change and so do our needs. Each stage in life requires different kind of protection and planning. I have tried to put down different needs and protection at different stages. Hope you find it useful too!

Life Plan, Financial Planning, Future Planning
Life Planning

NOTE: Please do not treat this as financial advice.

Why your Skype credits could be lost – Forever!

Recently Facebook released its legacy contact feature in the UK. This is a welcome move by Facebook and highlights the importance of ‘digital legacy’.

However, our digital life and digital footprint goes beyond Facebook and Google. We have pointed out the enormous difficulties loved ones can face trying to unravel their deceased’s digital property. 

While Louise Palmer’s story is still fresh in our minds, story of Susan Rowan is surfacing digital legacy problems with another internet giant – Skype.

Susan tried to sort out her husband’s financial affairs after he died of cancer in January. She tried to close his online accounts but was faced with a long painful process of dealing with customer support centres of the online services.

Her experience with Skype left her feeling distressed. To begin with, it was difficult for Susan to contact their customer service over the phone. She had to use web chat and then they refused to refund £25.46 credit to her.

There are many more such cases of family members getting affected by lack of access to digital accounts.

At Planned Departure, our vision is to empower individual to take control of digital life and digital legacy.

The media coverages and now solution from Facebook are helpful in promoting the cause of digital legacy. The UK Law Society has advised people to leave a digital legacy after death, and an increasing number of lawyers are becoming vocal on the same issue.

There is still a long way to go and we need your support!

Please join Planned Departure or contact us for offering digital legacy solution to your clients.

The digital filing cabinet

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What would you rather have: all your files and records stored neatly away in filing cabinets, desk drawers, shelf racks and document boxes, or digitised and stored in a virtual filing cabinet (the Cloud) that can be accessed from anywhere, not just in your office?

Some from the “old school” will prefer the former but most will, no doubt, choose the latter. Online data storage services are rapidly becoming the preferred method for storing important material.

Amongst many other things, the digital era has heralded fast bandwidth, mobile computing and inexpensive and abundant online storage, all of which have radically changed the way we live and work.

Having important files and documents stored on a virtual server means that staff needing to access this material are no longer limited by location. Provided there is an Internet connection they can work from anywhere. It also means that they can share files efficiently with others.

The opponents of online data storage services will argue that the treat of a cyberattack is a major issue when using remote servers. Protagonists, on the other hand, will point out that cybercriminals are a continuous threat to everyone, irrespective of whether firms use inhouse or remote servers. However, since cloud-based organisations will generally have people whose sole focus is data security, this should not be a major issue.

Furthermore, champions of online data storage will also argue that firms that use physical devices to back up their computers put their data at risk. In virtually every case the process is manual.

That said, opponents do have a valid point on one very important issue: digital asset legacy. With hard-copy records, virtually everything is traceable. But that may not be the case with digital assets.

Online subscriptions, for example, may continue to accrue charges if the owner of such subscriptions dies and leaves no record (or no easily accessible record) for others to act on.

Online bank accounts can also be at risk in the event the holder of the account dies or becomes permanently incapacitated. Whilst any funds in the account are unlikely to be lost, the bank could close the online facility on notification of the holder’s death. This could make things very difficult for firms using online banking in the running of the business, particularly where the account was established by one person registering their username and password.

With many of us today having several online accounts with different service providers, accessing and storing data on several devices – laptops, smartphones, tablets etc – our digital trail can be long. With technology advancing faster than the formulation of new laws that address the issue of digital property, these assets may not necessarily comply with the same legal characteristics as physical assets.

A positive step is to ensure proper care is taken over their protection, not by including them in a Will (which can be awkward given, amongst other reasons, the often rapidly changing nature of digital assets) but by developing a specific digital estate plan and registering that plan with a digital estate management organisation.

For those not taking proper care of their digital legacy, Woody Allen’s quip might be highly relevant: “This year I’m a star, but what will I be next year? A black hole?”

Digital twilight

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Cancer Research have just finished trialing a world first concept which they claim could shift fundraising from collection boxes and ‘chuggers’ to an entirely new level. The charity partnered with Clear Channel to implement a campaign which enables customers who walk past Cancer Research outlets in Brighton, Kensington, Guildford or Marylebone to tap their card on the contactless payment point on the window to donate a fixed fee of £2.

It seems like every day brings a new digital advantage into our lives, enabling us to interact, consume and communicate in easier, more streamlined ways. For each new digital asset however, comes the increasingly pressing need to ensure we are managing our digital assets more effectively.

As Gary Rycroft, a member of the Law Society Wills and Equity Committee, recently outlined during a BBC Radio 5 Live interview, leaving a digital legacy now needs to be taken very seriously. Rycroft recommended leaving a Will that takes into account a person’s  wishes regarding their personal online accounts. As he highlighted, this is the only way to ensure that loved ones know where and what the accounts are, and that they know what to do with them.

Rycroft concluded the interview explaining that “it’s our job as solicitors to tell our clients that they need to think about these things,” as a consequence there is an ongoing project at the Law Society to give advice to the profession on how best to do this.

As the likes of Cancer Research look for new ways to attract funding by making the payment process easy and rapid, children’s charity bibic are actively looking at new ways of attracting legacies and have shifted their focus to digital legacies which they believe will help boost funding.

Protecting, storing, passing on and safeguarding our digital legacies are giving rise to new needs, the likes of which Planned Departure are anticipating and managing for hundreds of clients.

Types of Wills … Let’s Break it down

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Over the next few blogs we will endeavour to shed some light on the different types of Will options available in a bid to help you decide which works best for you.
A good place to start is with couples Wills, of which there are three different types, all quite similar to each other. Joint Wills, Mutual Wills and Mirror Wills

A Joint Will is a single document that two people or more agree to draw up which generally relates to sharing their property in a particular way.

This kind of Will is particularly common amongst married couples.
These Wills are normally identical or very similar and give common benefits. They tend to dictate that the surviving spouse should inherit all their property if they die first and vice versa. After the death of the second spouse, the property is shared as specified in the document. The law treats a Joint Will as being two or more separate Wills.

Mutual Wills on the other hand occur where two or more testators make separate Wills or make a joint Will and in doing so agree to confer on each other reciprocal benefits or agree to confer benefits on the same beneficiaries.

These kind of Wills have four basic requirements and a strict standard for enforceability:

1.      The agreement must be made in a particular form.
2.      The agreement must be contractual in effect.
3.      The agreement must be intended to be irrevocable.
4.      The surviving party must have intended the will to reflect the agreement.

A Mutual Will creates a binding agreement between the two parties which prevents the survivor from changing their Will and disposing of the estate in a different way. Mutual Wills are preferred by couples in a second marriage with children from a previous relationship or marriage.

Mirror Wills are exactly that, they “mirror” each other. The terms generally are similar and complementary. This is a legal document that allows a couple (married, civil partners or unmarried) to write down their wishes for when they pass away.

In all three cases these types of Wills are convenient and cost effective and they ensure that spouses are well taken care of if one dies and that the estate is passed to his children at death.

 

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