The Investment Scientist

Assets without Physical Form

Posted on: August 2, 2011

[Guest Post by Anthony Carducci] Do you own a domain name . . . you know, a web address?  How about a Facebook account?  What about an easily recognizable email address or a Twitter handle?  Are any of those things valuable and worth passing on to your loved ones?  If so, have you made arrangements to have ownership of those assets transferred upon your death?

Those sorts of assets without form are just a few examples of intangible assets.  Other examples include copyrights, patents, trademarks, and licensing agreements, to name a few.  You must include these assets in your estate plan or else you risk having a court decide who gets the revenue streams derived from those assets.  In an increasingly complex world, value becomes locked into all sorts of unexpected places.  Think about a cellular telephone packed with customer contact information as an example.  The information locked in the phone is much more valuable than the phone itself.

The value of your legacy is no different.  The value of your life is not locked into or limited to your physical form.  It goes well beyond the physical.  Your greatest legacy is your story and what you share with your loved ones while you’re alive, so that you can see and enjoy the impact you have on your family and friends.  We all shape the world in our own unique ways.  What’s important is that you pass on your story so it can inspire and shape your family for generations beyond your life.

Maximize Each Moment of Your Life

It’s important to implement a comprehensive estate plan, but it’s also important to share information on how to access your estate plan and your intangible assets with someone you really trust.  That way your physical and intangible assets get passed to the people you want to have them, and you never have to waste any of your valuable life worrying about what will happen after you’re gone.  To the contrary, you can revel in knowing that you’ll be a positive force in your family for many, many years after your death.  That’s true peace of mind, and it will allow you to live in and fully maximize each moment without fear of forgetting to pass on your important heirlooms, stories, and secrets – the things that might serve as a foundation for your family going forward.

Get my white paper: The Informed Investor: 5 Key Concepts for Financial Success.

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Author

Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC. He is also a regular contributor to Morningstar Advisor and Physicians Practice. To explore a long-term wealth advisory relationship, schedule a discovery meeting (phone call) with him.



You may also get his monthly newsletter, or join his Facebook page for regular wealth management insights. Michael's email is info[at]mzcap.com.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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