FAQs: Personal Liability Umbrella Insurance

It’s no secret that we live in a lawsuit-crazy culture. It’s especially true if you have substantial wealth, but even people with relatively few assets can end up in court.

If you’re sued, your traditional homeowner’s and/or auto insurance will likely offer you some liability coverage. But those policies only protect you up to certain limits before they max out. So you should consider adding an extra layer of protection by investing in personal liability umbrella insurance.

What is umbrella insurance?

Umbrella insurance offers a backup level of protection against lawsuits above and beyond what’s covered by your homeowners, auto, watercraft, and/or other personal insurance policies. For example, if someone gets hurt at your house, they might sue you for their medical bills and lost wages. Your homeowner’s insurance will cover you up to a certain dollar amount, but you’re personally liable for anything beyond that limit. That’s where the umbrella insurance kicks in.

Once your underlying insurance maxes out, the umbrella policy will help pay for the damages and legal expenses if you lose the case. If you win, it can help cover your lawyer’s fees.

Who should buy it?

Umbrella insurance is very important for people that have a high net worth. But since everyone has the potential to be sued, it’s a good idea even for those without substantial assets to consider umbrella insurance.

If you’re sued and lose, the judgment against you may exceed the value of your current assets. In that case, a court could let the plaintiff go after your future earnings, potentially garnishing your wages for years. So umbrella insurance not only protects your current assets, but your future ones as well.

How much coverage do I need?

Most people will be adequately covered with a $1 million umbrella policy. If you earn more than $100,000 a year or have more than $1 million in assets, you may want to invest in additional coverage.

A good rule of thumb is to buy an umbrella policy with coverage limits that are at least equal to your net worth.

How much does umbrella insurance cost?

Umbrella insurance is fairly inexpensive. You can buy a $1 million umbrella liability policy for between $150 and $300 per year. An additional million in coverage will run you about $1oo and roughly $50 for every million beyond that.

Umbrella policies are inexpensive because they only go into effect after your underlying homeowners or auto policy is exhausted. In light of this, most insurers require you to have at least $250,000 in liability on your auto policy and $300,000 on your homeowner’s policy before they’ll sell you a $1 million umbrella policy.

How can I buy umbrella insurance?

Many times you can buy an umbrella policy from the same insurance company you use for your other policies. And you might even be eligible for a discount for bundling those policies.

Umbrella insurance is one of the many ways that you can protect your family’s current and future wealth. For help in evaluating your family’s situation and for help getting the best plans in place to protect what you’ve worked so hard for, contact our office.

This article is a service of Myrna Serrano Setty, P.A. We don’t just draft documents, we help you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for your sake and your loved ones. That’s why we offer a Planning Session, during which you’ll get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $500 session for FREE.

 

What Happens To Your Facebook Account When You Die?

Will your Facebook account haunt your loved ones after you’re gone? Without proper planning, your post-mortem Facebook presence can haunt the loved ones you leave behind, with harmful results.

If you’re active on social media, Facebook is probably a big part of your life.  Does social media seem trivial to you? If you think about it, your Facebook  account is basically a virtual diary of your daily life, making it a key part of your legacy—and one you’ll likely want to protect.

Since about 8,000 Facebook users die every day, the company has created a few options for dealing with your account once you’re gone. While it’s possible for you to take care of this on your own, many people are working with legal professionals like us to incorporate these digital assets into their overall estate plan to ensure their legacy is properly preserved and protected.

Here are your options:

  1. Do nothing.

Unless Facebook is notified of your death, it assumes you’re still alive, and your profile remains active indefinitely. While this might not seem like a big deal, your profile will continue to be included in Facebook searches, “People You May Know” suggestions, and birthday reminders.

Your friends and family likely won’t want to be constantly reminded of your absence, and even worse, ex-friends and/or trolls will be able to post potentially hurtful messages on your timeline.

  1. Delete the account.

In your settings, notify Facebook that you’d like to have your account permanently removed from its servers upon your passing. Alternatively, a friend, family member, or your executor can make the same request after your death. This will completely delete your profile and all of its associated content from Facebook for good.

Also, one of these individuals can request that your account’s content be downloaded and saved before the profile is deleted. Content that’s eligible for download includes wall posts, photos, videos, profile info, events, and your friend list. But Facebook won’t allow any third-party to access or download your personal messages or login information.

  1. Memorialize the account.

Facebook lets you designate a family member or friend as a “legacy contact” to manage your memorialized account. This contact will be allowed to pin a final message to the top of your timeline, announcing your death or providing funeral information. The contact can also respond to new friend requests and update your cover and profile photos. The legacy contact won’t be able to log in as you or see any of your private messages.

Preserve your legacy.

Since social media and other digital property are such an important part of your life, you should work with us as to ensure that these assets are protected by your overall estate plan. We can help you name a digital executor, who can quickly and easily manage your Facebook account and other social media upon your death. We can also help you inventory all of your other digital assets and make certain they pass to your loved ones seamlessly.

Furthermore, through our Family Wealth Legacy Interviews, we allow you to create a customized recording, sharing your values, stories, and life lessons with the loved ones you leave behind. Our estate plans include a Family Wealth Legacy Interview component. That’s because your estate planning is about more than just your STUFF. It’s also about your real wealth: your values, your insights and your experiences. Contact us today to learn more.

This article is a service of the Law Firm of Myrna Serrano Setty, P.A. We don’t just draft documents, we help you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Planning Session,  during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today at (813) 514-2946  to schedule a Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $500 session at no charge.

 

 

 

How To Live Before You Die

In Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, he said: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”

When Jobs was 17, he read a quote that made an impression on him, and everyday he asked himself:  “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And he said, “whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

So, I ask you now, to look in the mirror and ask yourself this same question: If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today, tonight, tomorrow, or the day after?

If not, what is it time to change? And when will you make the change?

Maybe, you are putting off change now because you are working toward what you hope is a better future.

But, how can you be sure that you are wisely considering all of your best options? And, how can you live the life you want now while simultaneously preparing for your future?

Start with planning.

Careful financial and estate planning can help you achieve your short-term and long-term financial goals, protect and preserve your personal wealth, and ensure your wishes for your end of life are respected and followed.

Jobs had an excellent point; facing death can help us have the best possible life now. Begin by coming in to meet with us for a Planning Session. Before the session, we’ll send you an Inventory and Assessment to complete that will get you thinking about what you own, what matters most to you, and what you want to leave behind.

Just asking these questions will be a fantastic starting point for you to begin to help to clarify your big life choices.

 

This article is a service of attorney Myrna Serrano Setty.  We don’t just draft documents, we help you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love.  That’s why we offer a Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a  Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $500 session at no charge.