Bet you never thought that there would be places where death is a crime. Well, there are. Seven cities in Italy, France, Brazil, Spain and Norway urge their citizens not to die.
- Sellia, Italy – The town has only 537 residents, the majority over 65. The mayor decreed that getting sick was not an option. If the residents died, it might kill the town as well. Even though the ban is not enforceable, the town government encourages its residents to stay healthy. Anyone who doesn’t get a yearly checkup will be fined.
- Cugnaux, France – Because there were only 17 plots left in the town cemeteries, in 2007 the mayor decreed dying illegal for anyone who didn’t already have a crypt to be buried in. The only available land for a new cemetery was on a nearby military air base. However, the defense ministry did not want the town to bury its dead there. Luckily, the defense ministry finally gave in and agreed to allow burials.
- Sarpourenx, France – In 2008, because of overcrowded cemetery conditions, the mayor forbid residents from passing on. “Offender shall be severely punished.”
- Biritiba Mirim, Brazil – In 2005, there was such a shortage of space in the local cemetery that the mayor banned death. Luckily, a new cemetery opened in 2010 so people are allowed to go on dying.
- Lanjaron, Spain – In 1999, this town faced a grave shortage. So the mayor forbid his citizens to die until municipal officials could find space for a new cemetery.
- Falciano Del Massico, Italy – In 2012, this town decided to outlaw death as a way of prodding a neighboring town into letting it share cemetery space. (The neighboring town had been charging non-residents more for a plot.) As of 2014, the town was still fighting to get a new cemetery.
- Longyearbyen, Norway – It’s the world’s northernmost settlement and mostly a mining town. In 1950, realizing that bodies in the local cemetery were not decomposing, the town stopped allowing new burials. If you get sick and think you’re going to die, you’d better go elsewhere.
If you know of another town anywhere in the world that doesn’t allow death, we’d love to know about it.
For information about end of life planning, check out our website www.diesmart.com.
As everyone probably knows by now, Prince died on April 21, 2016 and he didn’t have a will. You’d think that someone who had attorneys involved in almost every phase of his life and was worth more than $250 million would have done some estate planning, but evidently not.
Once his death was announced, 29 people came forward claiming to be Prince’s relatives. After several court hearings and DNA testing, the group was whittled down to 6. A few weeks ago, the judge ordered additional genetic testing to conclusively determine whether these people are his descendants.
What did all of these court hearings, testing sessions and attorneys cost? We don’t know but the amount is definitely a sizeable figure. It’s an amount that could have been avoided if Prince had written a will and a trust. In those documents, he could have spelled out exactly what he wanted done with his money and to whom he wanted it to go.
You probably don’t have $250 million to worry about but, whatever the amount, you can make it much more cost effective and a lot less nerve wracking for your heirs if you’ll just prepare the appropriate legal papers. That way, there won’t be a lot of guessing and fighting in court about what others think you meant to happen. It will all be spelled out in your will and trust so there will be no doubt about your wishes.
For information about estate planning, go to our website www.diesmart.com or consult a estate planning attorney.
That’s the percent of Americans who do not have a will, according to a Google Consumer survey by USLegalWills.com.
A recent Forbes.com article talks about some of the horror stories that occur when people die without putting an estate plan in place.
Here are the headings from the real stories:
Death causes sibling in-fighting.
Children get nothing, new wife gets everything.
Life partner left without legal standing.
Life insurance ends up in the wrong hands.
Heirs are left trying to find everything.
Partner owes enormous taxes on property.
Process is time consuming and expensive.
I urge you to read the stories. You may recognize yourself in some of them. But you can avoid the terrible consequences that the people encountered if you will just take the time to prepare an estate plan that reflects what you want to have happen to your assets when you die.
For more information about what to do, go to our website, www.diesmart.com.
Earlier this year, we wrote about the first state to adopt the new, revised UFADAA (Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act) recommended statute. This statute makes clearer the ways which an estate executor and others can deal with your digital assets when you die.
Indiana, this week, joined the ranks of states that have decided to pass a “law that addresses the rights of a fiduciary, such as a personal representative, trustee, attorney-in-fact or guardian, to access digital property, such as online financial accounts, emails, texts, social media accounts and online document and picture storage.”
Since digital assets are a large part of many people’s estates, this new act has become more important. States are recognizing this and, as of this date, many have either adopted the act or are in the process of considering it.
For information about whether your state has adopted this important act yet, click here.
For more information about digital estate planning, check out our book “Access Denied: Why Passwords Are Now As Important As Your Will” or go to our website www.diesmart.com.
We came across a very easy to read and understand infographic. It provides important information about estate and digital asset planning. Although the data is based on a survey done in the United Kingdom, the figures are probably very similar to what would be found if the same survey were done in the United States.
In light of the digital all-encompassing digital world in which we live, it’s especially amazing that almost 75% of people believe that it’s important to be able to view a loved one’s social media presence after their death. Yet less than 5% of those people have used the Facebook and Google tools available to enable this to happen.
Less than 10% of people have made any plans for their social media accounts to remain active after they die and only 3% have made any plans for purchased digital assets.
Only about half of the people queried have shared with anyone the password for their mobile phone or computer.
Digital planning is a critical part of putting your estate plan in place prior to your death. Otherwise, your wishes may not be carried out and, even more importantly, your heirs may not be able to access your online assets. Since no one knows when he or she is going to die, it’s important for everyone to take the necessary steps and put together a legal estate plan now.
For more information about digital estate planning, go to www.diesmart.com or purchase our book ACCESS DENIED: Why your passwords are now just as important as your will.