The millennial generation seems to constantly get a bad rap. They are perpetually trending online and in the news for one ignorant reason to the next. They are picked on for being lazy, entitled, moochers, they eat laundry detergent, they film their every single move from sun-up to sun-down on their phones, they have a collection of participation awards and trophies gathering dust at their parent's houses, where they supposedly still live, and they are obsessed with avocado toast. So goes the narrative, millennials are drowning in debt and aren't putting anything away for their futures. However, a recent survey released by Bank of America contradicts the most prevalent stereotypes about millennials, the study shows that one in six has at least $100,000 saved!

Bank of America asked people in the U.S about their relationship with money for the bank's Better Money Habits Millennial Report. Those surveyed were split evenly between older millennials, ages 28-37, and younger millennials, ages 23-27. One in six surveyed reported that their total savings, including money in checking and savings accounts, IRAs, 401Ks, and other retirement and investments accounts was $100,000 or greater. The Bank concluded that the survey's results showed that millennials are actually learning to be financially responsible faster than other generations. That is wonderful news and is quite commendable that so many young people are thinking about their futures. There are though, other studies and surveys being done about millennials and their lifestyle choices, that could impact their growing wealth. Marriage rates among this generation are plummeting. They are saying no to traditional marriage in record numbers. The median age for first time marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men. A recent Urban Institute report predicted an unprecedented number of millennials will stay unmarried through age 40! According to yet another report released by the Pew Research Center, a whopping 25% of millennials are likely to never be married. How do these statistics relate, and how is it relevant to end-of life planning?

Millennials are generally what society would deem "young", and young people tend to want to ignore their own mortality. It's unpleasant, and for the most part, young people like to fantasize that Death reaps the elderly during a peaceful night's sleep. Realistically speaking, however, it's wise to admit that tragedy can strike at any time, and Death is impartial to age. According to a survey, a full 64% of people who are taking care of minor children have no end-of-life plans in place. It can be surmised then, that parents of children under the age of 18 are in the millennial generation. While this generation is rapidly saving money, making smart financial investments, and learning fiscal responsibility, they still have a few things to learn in fully planning for their futures. If a young person dies, without having had the foresight to make arrangements for their unexpected demise, there can be serious, severe consequences. In the event of an illness, or an accident, if there is no estate plan in place, minor

children will be left in the hands of the state. The state of their residence will decide what happens to their kids, instead of those choices being made by the parents. The fact, too, that so many millennials are opting not to get married can have dire repercussions for live-in partners, if one were to pass away suddenly. Without specifying where their assets are to go, after death, they would be inherited by the next-of-kin. If that is a sister who has always disapproved of the deceased individual's girlfriend, for example, she could choose to leave the surviving life partner with nothing.

While millennials are building wealth, and living untraditional lives with partners, ie: foregoing marriage and trail blazing, like never before, they still seem to be forgetting bad luck happens, and if they fail to plan ahead, the assets they have accrued thus far, and the loved ones they live with, who don't legally have claim to it, can be left literally without a roof over their heads. Layman, D'Atri and Associates, LLC would love to be at the forefront of helping the millennial generation continue to defy the negative stereotypes they've been labeled with and assist with any end-of-life plans they may need. Estate Planning is for everyone, young and old. Perhaps one stereotype about millennials holds up: they seem to like to make their own choices in life, and they live by their own rules. One way or another, after their death, their assets will be distributed, with or without their previously decided upon plans. It will be the court's decision who gets their assets, who will get guardianship of their children and who will take care of the logistics of their estate if they continue to ignore the possibility of their own mortality. Building wealth is important, and millennials are proving they understand that, but protecting it, is just as important, and deciding now, before it's too late, end-of-life plans that reflect their personal choices, is another step towards the financial responsibility they clearly possess.

The Altruistic After-Life Plan

The calendar for March shows several different holidays ranging from Purim, a Jewish holiday, to Earth Day, International Women's Day, and Palm Sunday, a holiday observed by Christians. With all of these religious and environmental and social rights holidays right around the corner, let's discuss altruistic options for after-life planning. Did you know upon your death you can leave your assets and estate to a charity or church? If in life, you were passionate about the conservation of Humpback Whales, you can leave something to a valid organization that specializes in the protection of the whales once you've died. You also have the option of leaving your assets to your church and making them the beneficiary to your trust. If you are someone who will not be leaving behind any living relatives, but does possess ardent beliefs this could be a great choice for you. It's selfless and you can go in peace, knowing that even in death, you will be making an impact for the greater good of all.

You can choose any number of charitable organizations to be on the receiving end of your final donation. You can either arrange for the charity to inherit a lump sum outright or you can outline a plan in which your decided upon charity or charities gets set yearly amounts indefinitely or for a period of years. Not only does this provide a good cause with the means to make a difference, gifts to charities are exempt from federal wealth transfer taxes, and income taxes. Once you've decided upon a charitable organization or religious group that means a lot to you, all there is left to do is have your estate written by a lawyer who will see to it that your final wishes are carried out. Layman, D'Atri and Associates, LLC can also help guide you to choose the most tax efficient assets to fund your charitable gift. At the time of your death, everything will then go to your local women's shelter, for example, or the synagogue you attended weekly your entire life. There is something so sentimental about leaving an inheritance to an organization that you believed in while you were alive, and the monetary donation is of great benefit, but the confidence in the cause is really just as impactful.

This compassionate after-life plan does not only apply to those who are survived by no one. You can split your assets up between your spouse and children and also leave something to philanthropy. In this way, you not only provide for your family, but you also see to it that one of your final actions in life is helping others. The money you leave behind may be what spurs on a new children's wing at the hospital or you may be aiding in the protection of a certain endangered species. You will have left behind a meaningful legacy for your family, but also the world as a whole. As humans, our goal should be to leave this world in better conditions than it was when we entered it, and through the expertise of Layman D'Atri and Associates, you can be a part of something bigger. Whether you want to assist in saving the rainforest, providing battered women with clothing and shelter, or sending aid to victims of war-torn countries, your decision is important and significant. This law firm is passionate about your goals, we share your

optimism for a better world, and we want to be a helpful guide in your quest to give back. If you are considering allocating any of your assets to charity, please call Layman D'Atri and Associates, LLC at 330-493-8833, and we can work together on the betterment of the world. May this month bring you many blessings no matter how you celebrate its days.

Dearest Readers, 

Love is a many splendored thing. It warms our hearts and makes us happy. Love puts us in a good mood and makes us apt to showering the object of our affections with gifts and poetry. People in love make grand declarations of devotion, promising to protect and cherish, always, those whose hearts have stolen their own. Valentine's Day is one such occasion meant for those in love to bestow upon each other lavish gifts and poems of passion. At the thought of romance, perhaps images of roses and chocolates are conjured in your head, but what if there was a way to not only declare a lifetime of loyalty, but to actually take action, ensuring your dear heart is forever taken care of? 

Many wedding vows speak to a love eternal, lasting up to and after death, and one way to present your spouse with physical proof of such a vow is in leaving them with an inheritance once you've passed on. Like the two sides of an enamored heart, two options in doing so are Outright Distributions and Irrevocable Trusts. Outright distribution leaves all your assets outright, to your surviving spouse. It's simple and easy, however there are a few downfalls to this method. Your assets can be used to cover claims against your spouse from lawsuits and bankruptcies, and though their heart will always go on, there is the possibility they remarry and then die, leaving behind new hubs or wifey, who may have a claim against your assets. In another situation, your surviving spouse could make everything joint with their new partner, which would disinherit all beneficiaries. 

The second method in leaving your dear heart something after you've gone on, is a plan called an Irrevocable Trust. T his one is not as common, but has the potential to be a more favorable after - life plan. Anyone can use this plan, you do not need a taxable estate, after all, love impacts the Prince and the Pauper, does it not? Basically, your hubby or wife is left with a n income to cover health, education and maintenance for the rest of their life. You can avoid probate with this plan, and they can be structured to minimize and defer estate taxes. You can also add in a provision that keeps your children from being disinhe rited. The assets are also protected from lawsuits and bankruptcies as well as creditors. Furthermore, this plan even protects your assets from remarriage and the threat of future divorce and death claims by a new spouse. With this plan you have also the p ower to stop any inheritance distributions to your surviving spouse if they do remarry, UNLESS the treacherous lout's new spouse signs a prenuptial agreement. All is fair in love and war. 

This Valentine's Day, and the whole month of February, we ask that you give your thoughts and considerations to what you will leave your darling sweetheart when death does part you. It is an incredibly considerate and loving gift to safeguard and protect your spouse succeeding your passing. You can honor the oaths you took at the altar in the most literal way by planning for your spouse's life after your own. If you would like to discuss any of your options in estate planning, or have any questions at all, regarding any kind of afterlife planning please call us here at Layman D'Atri and Associates, LLC at 330 - 493 - 8833. We aren't the florist, or the chocolate shop, we don't sell teddy bears or heart-shaped balloons, however we offer something much more profound and we can help you present your loved ones today with the gift of a lifetime, one that lasts beyond a lifetime, in fact. Happy Valentine's Day from us to you. 


All of us here at Layman D'Atri and Associates, LLC 


Stranger than Fiction

There is a very popular British anthology series called Black Mirror which is now available on Netflix, and it explores and discusses the ways in which technology is changing the very social fabric of our lives, usually in a menacing and terrifying way. There is one episode in particular called Be Right Back in which the protagonist loses her husband in a tragic car accident and learns of a new service that allows people to stay in touch with deceased loved ones through their social media that had us thinking. Granted, the show itself is a modern-day take on the Twilight Zone, and usually portrays a society in the far-off future who have abused technology and each installment shows the subsequent disastrous results. Each story taps into the collective unease about the modern world in which we live and the sometimes-horrifying issues that present themselves in regards to an ever-growing civilization that resides online. While Black Mirror is purely fictional, and the episode Be Right Back is nowhere near present day, it does beg the question: what happens to our social media presence when we die?

Our lives have become increasingly immortalized through our use of the internet and social media, and one of the major obstacles for fiduciaries and family members of a deceased person is the federal Stored Communications Act. For hundreds of years humans have had their ways of passing on and granting access to their physical belongings and assets. A new era is upon us though, and so many people keep intangible objects online. What happens to the contents of electronic communications and files once an individual has died? The Stored Communications Act creates privacy rights to protect said contents from disclosure by certain online user account service providers. If the Act applies, the service provider is prohibited from disclosing information in the online account to the fiduciaries unless an exception to the Act is met. In short, your family cannot access your social media accounts and emails unless you have provided express, written consent for them to do so. The in-house attorneys for the likes of Facebook, Google, and Yahoo! have adamantly insisted they will not turn over the contents of a deceased user's online accounts unless the user previously provided written consent.

However, it seems only logical that the personal representatives of a deceased individual can and should gain legal access through lawful consent on behalf of the departed user. Having to battle Facebook for your loved one's messages on top of the many other responsibilities usually placed on the shoulders of a fiduciary seems like a nightmarish saga right out of the Twilight Zone. In a much less fantastic sense, like the show Black Mirror, we are exploring uncharted waters concerning how technology and the internet impacts our lives, and our deaths. As recently as October of 2017, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts saw the first ever case in the country, Ajemian v. Yahoo!, to answer the specific question of whether the personal representative of a deceased individual may grant lawful consent on behalf of the deceased individual, for purposes of the federal Stored Communications Act. The court's opinion states, " We conclude that the personal representatives may provide lawful consent on the descendant's behalf to release the contents of the Yahoo email account." However, as the

court's opinion points out, even though the lawful consent exception under the Act can be met by a personal representative, that alone does not require the service provider to divulge the contents of a departed user's electronic communications. The Act states that they may provide the contents if an exception is met, and that is where state laws such as the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Act comes into play. This Act provides clear state law procedures for fiduciaries to follow in order to request access to or disclosure of online accounts and digital assets.

For now, it appears the easiest way around all of this is to plan ahead and provide written consent so that your family members can gain access to your social media accounts and emails upon your passing. The state of Ohio actually adopted a version of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digitial Act last April, and Layman D'Atri and Associates, LLC has incorporated the power to deal with digital assets in our Powers of Attorney, Will and Trusts. It doesn't just entail your family being able to read over your private messages sent on Facebook, but also having access to your email where you may have paid bills, received important documents electronically as well as numerous other significant electronic papers and contracts. For now, we will let television shows ruminate on our future as a society heavily dependent on technology and the internet, and we will worry only about what we can do now to make your end-of-life planning easier, therefor making it easier too, on your family members and fiduciaries. It's an interesting time for estate planning, and even more fascinating still, to see where new laws go regarding the social media footprint we leave behind. For more updates like this, and any other questions you may have about estate planning, call us at Layman, D'Atri and Associates, LLC, 330-493-8833.

"Et Tu, Brute"

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“Et Tu, Brute?” Three short Latin words, with heavy meaning behind them. The phrase translated means, “and you, Brutus?” and it’s a famous, or rather infamous line from William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Roman dictator Julius Caesar utters his shock, and his last words, to his dear friend Marcus Junius Brutus as he is assassinated by the last person on earth he ever fathomed to betray him. He is stabbed in the back, literally in this case, by his closest companion. The phrase is used now to signify when someone you love unexpectedly double crosses you. It’s really hard to imagine someone you care about forsaking you at your most vulnerable hour, when there is no one left but those whom you’ve entrusted everything to. Unfortunately, this does happen, and though it’s a heinous thought, and a place we don’t want to ever go in our minds, it’s wise to expect the best, but prepare for the worst. No one should ever be a victim to the cold treachery felt by Caesar in his last moments.

A more modern, but just as utterly despicable, case of betrayal is the case of Janet and William Powers from Fort Myers, Florida. They bought a home in the city where their son was living with the agreed upon expectations that when they could no longer live independently they would move into the mother-in-law suite and they would comfortably live out their remaining years. The couple assigned their son power of attorney and gave him access to their finances. He sold their previous home and the $72,000 dollars was supposed to be used to remodel the mother-in-law suite at the new house, and was meant to be a final income for the parents. Court documents filed with the Lee County Court tell a different story.

The elderly couple’s son, Ryan Powers, wasted away the $72,000 along with his mother’s social security to buy pizza, rent movies and pay his cell phone bill! Not only that, but he left both parents in a nursing home and refused to pay the bill! The disloyalty and deception didn’t end there. When his father died, Ryan Powers neglected to pay the funeral home and he left his dad’s body to rot, unclaimed for 90 days. His body finally was picked up by Lee County and he was cremated at taxpayer expense. Thankfully there was some justice served, and Ryan was found guilty of four first-degree counts of exploitation involving an elderly person. He was sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

The story of the Powers family is a cautionary tale. Janet and William entrusted their money, their safety and their lives into the hands of their own flesh and blood and were still discarded like trash and robbed. When deciding upon a power of attorney, you obviously rule out non-relatives, you rule out anyone who has had past issues with finances, anyone who may hold a grudge against you or even someone else in your family, but, just to be safe, it’s wise to examine even those closest to you. It’s hard to tell what evil some may harbor in their hearts, but if there is even an inkling of doubt, it may be safer to assign such an important job to someone else. It is absolutely imperative you plan out your last days thoughtfully in order to avoid the Judas Kiss, instead, spending your time in comfort, knowing you’re in safe hands. At Layman, D’Atri and Associates, LLC we make it our job to ensure none of our clients ever wind up in a situation such as the case of the Powers, a true Shakespearean tragedy. 

For more information please visit our website, or give us a call. 330-493-8833