Asset Planning, Inc Blog

The latest from the team.

Cell Phone SIM Swap Scam

Just when we thought we were safe by setting up two-step authentication on our accounts, hackers are getting smarter and scamming us in a different way. The new scam is when a hacker calls your cell phone service provider, pretends to be you and says that you lost your phone and need to activate the new one. They do this by having enough personal information about you to convince the cell phone provider that it is really you. Once they have this information all your texts, phone calls and anything else you receive on your phone will be transferred to their phone and yours will be deactivated. So, all those text messages you receive when logging into your accounts will go directly to the new phone and right into the hacker's hands. This is scary stuff. Please read the following article with the detailed information on the scam and ways to protect yourself from having it happen to you.

How To Prevent and Respond to a SIM Swap Scan

Continue reading
  81 Hits
81 Hits

What Happens to Your Social Media & Online Accounts When You Die?

Until very recently there was really no estate planning direction on how your social media and online accounts should be handled after you pass away. If you're like me, I have multiple social media accounts and have opted to go paperless on every account that I can. Though this is the most convenient option for us now it may pose a problem when you pass away and there are no instructions or information left for your loved ones. I recently listened to a webinar hosted by TLD Law that gave out some great information and tips on how these digital assets should be handled.

First, we'll talk about what digital assets really are. Digital assets are considered any electronic record that is stored in an online account, not the online account itself. For example: You have a Gmail account, the Gmail account and address are not considered a digital asset. The digital assets would be any emails, pictures or other files in the email account.

Here are some other examples of digital assets:

Airplane Miles, Social Media, Software Licenses, Websites, Cryptocurrencies and any other digital file stored with in an online account or your computer; think Shutterfly, iCloud etc.

One quick way to ensure that your digital assets are taken care of after you die is buy completing a Power of Attorney specifically for those digital assets. The Power of Attorney should have a digital assets provision in it.

If you have a trust in place you should check it to see if there is a provision for digital assets. If the trust document was drafted before 2017 it likely does not, and you will need to amend the trust accordingly.

In the trust and power of attorney documents you should give clear instructions on how you would like your digital assets taken care of when you pass away.

By law, anyone you give this responsibility to will have a fiduciary duty of care, loyalty and confidentiality to uphold. What that means is that they are not allowed to share any personal information that has not already been made public.

A lot of online sites have either legacy contact information or inactive user account manager options that you can set up in your account profiles. Whoever you designate will be contacted after a certain length of time, usually chosen by you, where your account has not been active.

It's important to note that by giving some power of attorney over your digital assets, the companies that hold that information are not legally required to give them access to the online accounts. It is very important to compile an ongoing list of all of your online accounts as well as passwords and keep it in a safe place that your trusted person knows about. Downloading this information onto a hard drive and keeping it in a safety deposit box or fireproof safe are a couple of options. If you simply just give someone this information without the proper legal documents their attempt to log into your account may be misconstrued as computer fraud and may be prosecuted. Especially in the case of elderly parents or grandparents, because there is a heightened awareness of elderly abuse.

There is a ton more information and tips online. I highly encourage you to do some research and get these provisions in place.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading
  76 Hits
76 Hits

Insurance Coverage Check Up

Watching the news coverage of Hurricane Dorian this past week as well as the fire in Murrieta, had us sympathizing for the people in their path, what they were going through and how their lives would be affected by these natural disasters. Naturally, this also made us start thinking of our own preparedness for a natural disaster. We recently posted about creating your own emergency kits for your homes. Another thing to think of is what happens to your home and other belongings that were damaged during one of these incidents. It's important to periodically review your insurance policies to make sure that your coverage is sufficient. Our lives are constantly changing, which means you could have recently done a remodel to your home or purchased a brand-new computer. Will your homeowner's insurance cover these new and improved items? One way to make sure is to keep an updated inventory of your personal belongings as well as any documentation for upgrades you have done to your home. Without this documentation your homeowner's insurance may just pay you the basic value of these items and you will not recoup the increased value. One tip I read about, and which seems like the easiest way to inventory your property is to walk around your home with your phone and take a video of each room with its contents. In the video you would show the items of most value and explain what they are. Not only will this prove the items existence, but most phones are hooked up to a cloud-based recovery system. So even if you lose or damage your phone in a disaster the video will be saved to the cloud. Obviously, you would not want to share this video with anyone and should keep it private. No posting to social media sites like FB or Instagram as this could make you a target for break ins. Even if you "know" everyone on your friend lists. We still recommend keeping physical documentation either in a fireproof box, safety deposit box or a flash drive but it never hurts to have more proof. You may also want to look into additional flood and earthquake policies.  Maybe you decided to skip these policies when you first bought your home because they can be pricey, or you went with a higher deductible. Now would be the time to get a check up to see if these supplemental policies are right for you.

Continue reading
  80 Hits
80 Hits

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day

In observance of Labor Day, our office will be closed Monday, September 2nd. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, September 3rd.

Wishing all of our clients a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

 

Continue reading
  85 Hits
85 Hits

Medicare: Traveling Abroad is Not Covered

If you're currently on Medicare and are planning a trip out of the country it is important to know that basic Medicare does not cover and health care services or supplies while you are out of the U.S. There are a few exceptions, like if you have a supplemental plan, Medicare Advantage or another Medicare plan. You can read all about what is and what isn't covered by your plan by clicking here.

Continue reading
  95 Hits
95 Hits

Thank You! Thank you! Thank You!

Wow, is all we can say! We were blown away by how many clients were able to make it to our Ice Cream Social this year. This is truly one of our favorite events of the year because we get to see our clients out of the office in a fun atmosphere all while eating delicious ice cream. Here are some pictures from the Ice Cream Social. If you weren't able to make it this year, we hope to see you at the next one!

Pic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 webPic 44 web

 

Continue reading
  82 Hits
82 Hits

Equifax Breach... Were You Affected?

A settlement has been announced in the 2017 Equifax breach. Equifax has agreed to pay up to $700 million in compensation to the victims of this breach. If you were affected, there are three different settlement options. The 1st option is to sign up for free credit monitoring service. If you already have credit monitoring service, you can choose to be paid $125 for the value of the credit monitoring. Option 2 is to be reimbursed for any of the time you spent trying to clear up any issues that happened to your credit because of the breach. The 3rd option is to be reimbursed for any damages you incurred as a result of the breach. For the latter two options you will need to submit additional documentation to support your claim. It is really easy to check to see if you were affected by the breach and submit your claim. It took each of us in the office about 3 minutes to complete the whole process. Simply click on this link and follow the steps provided.

Continue reading
  92 Hits
92 Hits

Emergency Preparedness Kit

Considering the recent earthquakes we just had, we thought it was a good idea to send out a reminder about either updating or creating your home emergency kit. We know that this can be a time-consuming project and a lot of people put it off or don't don one altogether but this is something that can be a true lifesaver.

I found some really good checklists you can use as your starting pints. These checklists are not a one size fits all, so you should customize them for your family's specific needs. One of the checklists suggest updating your emergency kit each time we fall back or spring forward, I love this idea! Makes it really easy to remember.

Here are the checklists:

EEChecklist-Kits.pdf

stockpilingchecklist.pdf

The most common items that people forget to include in their kits are toilet paper and a bucket for peronal hygiene needs. Definitely two things you don't want to do without!

I was also able to find some premade kits on Amazon. I don't think that any of these kits will have everything that you need but it is an easy way to add necessary items to your kit without much work on your part.

Emergency Zone 4 Person Family Prep 72 Hour Survival Kit/Go-Bag

Rescue Guard First Aid Kit Hurricane Disaster or Earthquake Emergency Survival Bug Out Bag Supplies for Families

Mountain House Just In Case 14-Day Emergency Food Supply

Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply 29 lb 4.37 oz 8.5 Gallon Pail

 

 

Continue reading
  94 Hits
94 Hits

Keeping You Updated

As you know, all of us at Asset Planning put our clients personal and financial well-being as our number one priority. One of the ways we do this is by keeping you updated on any potential dangers when it comes to fraud and scams that we hear about. While doing research on a scam we were alerted to, I came across the Federal Trade Commission website. Along with many other self-help topics, there are two sections dedicated to privacy, identity & online security and scams. There you can find useful tips and recent information on scams going around. I found this website to be a useful tool in my research and I was even able to sign up for email notifications to alert me to any new scams they have been notified of. If you are interested in keeping up with the latest news on these sorts of things click on this link and sign up for email updates.

Continue reading
  110 Hits
110 Hits

Do You Have a Plan for Your Aging Parents?

It’s a known fact that people are living a lot longer than they used to. Do you have a plan in place for your aging parents? I came across an interesting article in Financial Advisor Magazine about the toll being a care taker for your aging parents can put on you financially and emotionally. If you are facing the prospect of being the caretaker for your parents as they get older, the time is now to start having the important conversations with your family about getting an action plan together for their care.

Click here to read the full article

 

 

 

Continue reading
  115 Hits
115 Hits

Search Blogs Module

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
cell phone provider Part B CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER exam Healthcare home break-ins Ice Cream Social Kraig Mathias fees FSA Affordable Care Act money wells Fargo home emergency preparedness kits cell phone carriers toilet paper phone IRA accounts increase prescription eyeglasses client portal disaster areas ice cream event 2017 TD Ameritrade National LINC Conference insurance policy California Lions Friends illiegal robocallers parking spots summer Medicare question ID card documents relief efforts text messages consumer spending privacy settings identity theft cell phones integral member president Trump Roth IRA check lists spring cleaning Orange County Superior Court insurance policies Wells Fargo customers Mobile Banking Security Tips emergency folder cell phone SIM swap scam executive order https :// Social Security Administration investment statements 70 1/2. clients show support donation counts tax season media accounts Medicare Advantage Orange County contribution limit D premiums 900 number 401K Medicare Part B premiums interest rates Puerto Rico Financial Planning Magazine bottom line TD Ameritrade credit score clients driver license home mortgages birth certificates emergency kits banking Erin Nelsen chip-enabled EMV cards Open Enrollment Kiplinger Letter Amazon 20 year anniversary Medicare Part B partner /owner donation items company asset Planning borrowing money padlock Open House retirement plans estate estate planning direction life saver notary services April 11 IRS deadline Auto insurance fun facts Supplemental Security Income trustee Treasury Department credit card company Brexit vote emergency kit credit cards “ skimmer ”. October 1 2020. people medications Part D premiums . information Facebook holidays approach Independence Day pets health care costs Joey Gonzales news coverage Fox News story email notifications rescue organizations credit card fraud Notary Public gap insurance phone companies Medicare plan phishing sites Legal robocalls web address family members health care services home June 29 jury duty house sitter CFP ® self-help topics memorial Day weekend settlement options credit freeze FEMA website team members DNA test kits privacy notices National Ice Cream month tax deadline Medicare cell phone service provider July 4 opt-out pet supplies app retirement operations manager credit monitoring service 2017 Equifax breach trust Wells Fargo employees account numbers hurricane Dorian 2018 IRA contributions earthquake app phishing scams ice cream 23 andme vacation flash drive January 10 EEChecklist-Kits.pdf stockpilingchecklist.pdf 2017 IRA contributions Charles Schwab Federal Trade Commission website Asset Planning Victor Dergunov fun atmosphere pet clone counterfeits spam phone non-prescripstion sunglasses home security identity thieves portal Facebook profile paperwork clutter official certification Two-Step Verification drive /usb checklists car loans scams retirement accounts estate planning Retirement Contribution Limits 4 pm -8pm assets Flexible Spending Account offering insurance VOIP landline phones retirement planning policy vision screening home emergency kit cell phone carriers offer debt Social Security Shred paperwork https ://seekingalpha pet industry April 15 card reader breach information blog post April 18 2017.