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.

The digital vs physical issue – seen from a distance


During the dotcom boom in the late 90s, the period when digital technologies were beginning to make their mark, it would have been inconceivable that digital property should be included in estate-planning documents. Ten years on and still the issue of digital legacies would seem absurd.

It took the fairly recent media disclosures of the difficulties parents faced with trying to access the social media accounts of their deceased children to highlight the issue of who actually owned this content.

Today, digital estate planning is essential because virtually every part of our lives, personal and professional, is impacted by this digital era. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and other digital gadgets have become reflections of our personalities, our interests and our identities, to the point that, for many, they have become the very fabric of our being.

In the recent 2014 Digital Impact Survey conducted by the Apigee Institute (developer of the intelligent API platform for digital business acceleration) and Stanford University’s Mobile Innovation Group, figures demonstrated that rising numbers of smartphone owners are becoming increasingly dependent on their devices. More than 90 percent reported that having a smartphone has altered how they connect with friends, and many claim they could not maintain a relationship with someone significant or find new friends without their smartphone.

Perhaps that might be seen as a sad reflection of our society today, but the reality is that digital is not going to decline any time soon and that we need to be taking a much more proactive view of the digital assets we’re accumulating.

Estate planning and administration practitioners should be discussing with their clients what they want to happen to their digital estate in the event they become permanently incapacitated or die. We hear a lot about parents’ anguish at not being able to access their children’s social media accounts after their death, but what if these children didn’t want their accounts exposed? What if they wanted them permanently erased when they die? It is vitally important that these wishes are included in any digital estate plan.

Digital property includes all digital assets such as music, films and photos, usernames and passwords, websites, Frequent Flyer Miles; anything that is stored digitally, also digital accounts (online banking, social media, online subscriptions etc) and digital hardware (smartphones, tablets, laptops etc).

Equally, there may also be different types of digital assets and digital devices – those personally owned and those owned by an online service provider and licensed under a terms-of-service-type agreement.

And herein lies a conundrum. Digital property may not necessarily comply with the same legal characteristics as physical property.

Take, for example the viability of the copyright regime; one area that has been considerably challenged by the advent of the Internet and digital technologies. The registration of domain names is a good case in point. The creation of the Internet has generated a new type of property with similar characteristics to trademark rights, but without inherent ties to the trademark law of any individual country. Since Cyberspace has no physical boundaries, defining rights in this new, valuable property presents a number of questions, including those relating to transferability, conditions for ownership (such as payment of registration fees), duration of ownership rights and forfeiture if there is abandonment.

Then there is the case of physical property – media such as books and music for example – that are generally protected by the first sale doctrine. Digital media, on the other hand, is universally governed by an EULA (end user license agreement). The purchase of such assets universally requires creating an account with the content provider, an account also governed by an EULA. As such, the first sale doctrine does not apply to digital media.

Whilst there continues to be considerable discussion internationally on this topic, there has been no formal legislative recognition of digital property in estate planning or estate administration, apart from some states in the US.

That said, there are clear definitions of what constitutes digital property and they are broad enough to cover the field for estate planning and administration purposes. A carefully drafted inventory, along with the rights of access and clear instructions for inheritance, will allow the digital estate to come into the legal possession and/or control of an executor or administrator, in the absence of a law or agreement to the contrary.

Even though the owners of digital property may have a written Will regarding their physical assets, the two property forms should be kept separate. Given the formality attendant to the execution of nonholographic Wills and the often rapidly changing nature and ownership of digital assets, Wills can be an awkward vehicle for digital property.

Furthermore, it remains unclear whether service providers will respect the terms of Wills to transfer ownership of digital assets.

A record with the Will (instead of in the Will) of where the digital inventory (including usernames and passwords) is being held is the best option.

The management of digital property is not difficult and there is a growing number of dedicated professionals who can help and support law firms with this process. The starting point is the realisation that digital property certainly has value and that is should be protected accordingly.

The Journey of Digital Art

With digital art starting to dominate the art industry, it’s safe to assume that some artists may have numerous art pieces, complete and incomplete that need to be organised and saved securely, especially in the case of something happening to the artist. His friends and family may not know where all these art pieces are or what the artist in question would like to do with them

Automated Thanking Machine…

This video gave me goosebumps.  It was touching and inspiring.

Sometimes in life we have to just say thank you. The word ‘thank you’ itself is a very powerful word on its own. These two words make people feel appreciated and motivated. It gives a sense of assurance and encouragement to go on doing something. By Saying thank you and meaning can change a life.

We at PlannedDeparture want to say a ‘BIG THANK YOU’ to all our subscribers, clients, followers and blog post readers. We appreciate the support. It encourages us to strive to create a bigger and better company for you.


Secure Your Digital Legacy By Planning Ahead

On the 31st of July PlannedDeparture was featured as a guest blogger on ‘Digital Beyond’ page. We thought we would share that piece with you also.

On July 16th Yahoo Japan launched an end-of-life service called Yahoo Ending. It offers various services such as farewell messages, funeral planning and removal of relevant yahoo accounts.

Once Yahoo receives official notice of the subscribers passing it takes these steps.  Deletes all information stored on the company’s system and cancel’s the deceased’s subscriptions. Yahoo Endings will also launch a tribute site after the subscriber’s death. The tribute site serves as a memorial space. It hosts user’s memories, pictures, biography, messages, video messages, and a playlist of favourite music in the deceased’s honour.

According to The Cultureist 2,405,518,376 people use the Internet worldwide and seventy percent of those use the Internet every day. This number has grown 566% since the year 2000.

Why are these figures important?

The Internet plays a major role in most of our lives without us realising it. We store immense amount of information from our personal and professional lives online.

Our email accounts, utility bills, insurance policies, social media pages, digital albums, online bank accounts are some of the examples of our growing digital footprint.

We collect various items as we grow at different stages of our lives. What used to be a collection of stories, an archive of classic movies or a stack of letters is now digital in our growing age of technology. With the help of our smartphones, laptops and tablets everything is now stored digitally.  Stacks of letters are now emails, story collections are now eBooks and classic movies are now stored online. What happens to all these when the inevitable happens?

Continuous digitization and penetration of Internet in our everyday life has made our digital assets valuable. Like other valuable things, we have to manage our digital assets should during our life and protected after we pass away. In the absence of appropriate planning and protection, these digital assets can become an easy target for identity thieves. Identities of approximately 2.5 million deceased Americans got stolen last year.  It created a huge financial and emotional burden for people related to the deceased to deal with.

Yahoo, like many other major companies, is realizing the importance of digital legacy. The Uniform Laws Commission recently endorsed a plan to give personal representatives control of digital assets.

The plan, is not law until adopted and approved by state legislators. It would allow heirs to access and control digital assets. Unless instructions are otherwise specified in a will or other estate-planning instrument.

The ULC effort is a step in right direction, yet many individuals may want more control of their digital assets. For instance, you may want to distribute your digital assets to right beneficiaries with your instructions for them. Many individuals need a comprehensive digital estate plan to deal with this problem.

The emerging state laws in the U.S. and services such as Yahoo Ending and Google’s Inactivity Account Manager are good steps in the right direction. Individuals still need to take action.

I believe estate planning for digital assets will continue to become mainstream and independent organizations such as Planned Departure will try and serve the needs of this growing market.

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