Ready or Not, Electronic Wills Have Arrived! (November 2019)
Electronic will laws do not eliminate current law regarding will execution or notary standards. Instead, they simply add another tool in a financial institution’s toolbox to help facilitate estate planning locally and globally. In addition to easier access for most Americans who otherwise would not undertake going to a lawyer’s office, physical presence is not always convenient or possible (e.g., your elderly client who is bed-bound in a hospital).
Just as our society has moved from the requirement that physical checks must be presented at a bank window, it is likely that this technology will move into the mainstream of our society and that one day creating or amending an estate planning document via the internet will become not just possible, but indeed commonplace for our clients.
Author: Sasha A. Klein, Esq., is a partner at Ward Damon, PL, in West Palm Beach. She previously served as fiduciary counsel for Bessemer Trust Company of Florida where she directed the fiduciary risk management group and chaired the Special Investments and Discretionary Distributions Committee. An active member of the FBA’s Trust & Wealth Management Division, Klein is chair of the Trust Legislative Committee and also serves on the Trust Executive Committee. She also lecturers nationally and is a frequent published author on a range of estate planning, wealth management, and tax law topics. Klein received her LLM in tax from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, a JD and Law and Business Certificate from Vanderbilt Law School, and a BSBA summa cum laude from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business.
Author: Mark R. Parthemer, Esq., AEP, is managing director and senior fiduciary counsel, southeast region, overseeing estate and legacy planning services at Bessemer Trust, an exclusive wealth management firm. He is an ACTEC Fellow; a frequent national lecturer and published author; chair, ABA Non-Tax Issues Affecting Estates and Trusts Committee; member, Florida and Pennsylvania Bars, Synergy Summit, and the Florida Bankers Association Executive Council, and chair, Trust Legislation Committee. He has been part of the University of Miami’s Heckerling faculty and is a former adjunct professor, Widener University School of Law. Mark often has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America and a Florida Legal Eagle.
An Advisor’s Introduction to Blockchain (November 2018)
Emerging into public use less than 25 years ago, the internet has changed virtually every aspect of modern life, producing extraordinary benefits and disruption. The next big thing may well be blockchain, a shared, decentralized, secure, unchangeable digital ledger, bringing increased trust and efficiency to business networks. Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin—but cryptocurrency is just the first of many opportunities to bring commercial transactions firmly into the 21st century.
Author:Richard M. Weber, MBA, CLU, AEP (Distinguished), is well known by insurance agents for his activities on their behalf in the area of life insurance “due care.” He received the Kenneth Black, Jr., Leadership Award in 2008 in recognition of his “exemplary leadership qualities and significant contributions to the fulfillment of the Society of Financial Service Professionals core values of ethics, education, and relationships.” He is president of The Ethical Edge, Inc., Pleasant Hill, CA, consulting to insurance companies and agents on issues of product expertise and the appropriate use of technology. A past president of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, Mr. Weber has written hundreds of articles and delivered presentations throughout the industry on “…increasing earnings while maintaining high levels of integrity and ethics.”
Insights into the Users of Robo-Advisory Firms (September 2018)
Robo-advisory firms have established a growing presence in the marketplace in the past several years and, while limited in use, have appeal for young, technologically savvy consumers. This analysis of American investors considers the characteristics of those who exclusively use robo-advisory services and how they differ from those who exclusively use brokers and financial advisors. Results indicate users of robo-advisory services are young and confident in their financial abilities yet distrustful of traditional channels of financial advice.
Author: Ann Sanders Woodyard, PhD, CFP, is an assistant professor at the University of Georgia, where she is the director of the Online Masters in Financial Planning program, in addition to teaching and research roles. She has published works on charitable giving, financial knowledge and behavior, and consumer financial decision making. Dr. Woodyard holds degrees from Kansas State University and the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill.
Author: John E. Grable, PhD, CFP, holds an Athletic Association endowed professorship at the University of Georgia, where he conducts research and teaches financial planning. He is best known for his work related to financial risk tolerance assessment and psychophysiological economics. He serves as the director of the Financial Planning Performance Laboratory at the University of Georgia.
Bitcoin Investing—An Ethical and Regulatory Quandary (March 2018)
Interest in bitcoin has skyrocketed along with its price. Clients are approaching advisors and seeking investment advice about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, yet many advisors have minimal knowledge in this area. Advisors need to be careful, as there are numerous ethical and regulatory considerations that should be considered and taken into account before giving advice.
Author: James Pasztor, MSF, MPAS, CFP, is the vice president of Academic Affairs and a professor with the College for Financial Planning.