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Estate Planners Globally Now Have a Comprehensive and Practical Client-Based Approach to Digital Estate Planning

Estate Planners Globally Now Have a Comprehensive and Practical Client-Based Approach to Digital Estate Planning
Digital Asset Entanglement: Unraveling the Intersection of Estate Laws & Technology explores how digital assets impact estate and succession planning and how organizations can manage in our immersive digital age

Sharon Hartung, Captain (Ret’d), PEng, TEP, founder of Your Digital Undertaker and recognized as one of the leading and original voices in digital estate planning globally, and Jennifer L. Zegel, Esq, Practice Leader of Kleinbard LLC’s Trusts and Estates Group, announce the launch of their book: Digital Asset Entanglement: Unraveling the Intersection of Estate Laws & Technology.

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Published by LexisNexis, a global leader of information for legal professionals, Digital Asset Entanglement focuses on how technology has disrupted the traditionally paper-based estate industry using a client/user, persona-based framework for global advisors and clients to navigate the complexities of the digital world.

The authors illustrate these complexities using the intriguing case study of Quadriga Fintech Solutions and the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX. Through the Quadriga bankruptcy trustee case, the authors educate estate advisors on the legal and practical technical management considerations surrounding digital assets, including potential financial and emotional losses resulting from undisclosed or inaccessible digital assets.

“The problem when dealing with digital assets is that many advisers may not appreciate the potential pitfalls, access hurdles, expenses and losses that may be at risk when proper measures are not taken, because up until now digital asset planning has never been required,” says Hartung. “The intriguing and eye opening backstory of QuadrigaCX, as recounted in the book’s Foreword by Sheona McDonald, the award-winning documentary filmmaker of Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery, compliments the book’s case study and should alarm estate planning professionals if digital estate planning has not occurred.”

Kimberley A. Whaley, CS, TEP, LLM, Founding Partner of WEL Partners, comments in her book review, “Sharon has been keeping us all digitally minded for the last several years. The recent publication is the most in-depth guide yet to estate planning and the digital world. The book is fascinating, replete with draft clauses for planning purposes, a review of property laws, intellectual property, and the intersection of technology. I highly recommend that you give it a read.”

Mark O’Farrell, BA, CLU, CHFC, TEP, CEA, President of The Canadian Institute of Certified Executor Advisors said, “against the backdrop of the blockbuster-movie worthy Quadriga case, potentially one of the most calamitous estate cases in recent history, Hartung and Zegel carve out, with forensic precision, the lessons to be learned by everyone and anyone involved in estate planning and settlement.”

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Clients of estate planners will choose organizations that are technologically savvy and have the right processes and tools to address their digital and physical lives in estate planning. Digital Asset Entanglement: Unraveling the Intersection of Estate Laws & Technology is a valuable introductory reference for any advisor looking to understand the technological frontier and how to address client implications. This book is particularly important to:

  • Estate lawyers, estate planners, estate practitioners, financial advisors, wealth management advisors, tax advisors and insurance advisors
  • Estate and legal industry educators seeking a case study for education, course work, panels, articles, conferences, or continuous education offerings such as CLE credits
  • Law and business schools offering technology courses

“We enjoy the benefits technology brings to our lives, but if proper pre-planning is not done, digital assets often become difficult to access after death for a variety of legal, practical, and technical reasons,” says Jennifer Zegel. “​​Sharon and I wrote this book to help advisors and professionals at all ends of the estate industry spectrum to address digital assets in business processes, policies, and procedures to not only protect themselves, but also to establish new best practices in order to assist clients in planning in a digital landscape.”

Sharon’s first book, Your Digital Undertaker: Exploring Death in the Digital Age in Canada, examines digital assets in the context of an individual’s or client’s estate planning life cycle. Her second book, Digital Executor®: Unraveling the New Path for Estate Planning explores how the proliferation of digital assets makes technology the new player at the estate planning table and predicts how innovation will disrupt and digitize the estate industry (#estatetech.)

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