search here
Month: August 2023
Digital Legacy – Including Online Assets in Your Estate Planning

On Behalf of O’Brien Law Firm, LLC

Posted on: August 17, 2023

Gone are the days when estate planning solely involved tangible assets like properties, investments, and heirlooms. Nowadays, it’s equally important to consider your digital assets, which can range from social media accounts, email accounts, digital photos, videos, cryptocurrencies, and even online businesses.

One of the key challenges in estate planning for digital assets is ensuring accessibility. Unlike physical assets that are typically documented and easily identified, digital assets might be scattered across various platforms and devices, often protected by passwords and encryption. Failing to provide access to these accounts can lead to valuable assets being lost forever or substantial difficulties for your heirs in locating and accessing them.

To address these challenges, estate planning law has introduced mechanisms to safeguard your digital legacy. Here are a few important considerations:

  • Inventory of Digital Assets: Start by creating a comprehensive list of all your digital assets, including online accounts, subscriptions, and electronic devices. Include information about how to access these accounts, such as usernames, passwords, and any necessary two-factor authentication methods.
  • Digital Estate Plan: Work with an estate planning attorney to incorporate your digital assets into your estate plan. This might involve designating a digital executor that can manage and distribute your digital assets according to your wishes.
  • Terms of Service Agreements: Understand the terms of service agreements of different online platforms. Some platforms have specific guidelines for handling accounts after a user’s death, while others might require legal documentation.
  • Online Will or Trust: Consider including provisions for your digital assets in your will or trust. Specify how you want these assets to be handled, whether they should be archived, deleted, or transferred to your heirs.
  • Password Management Solutions: Use password management tools that allow you to securely store and share your account credentials with designated individuals.
  • Privacy Concerns: Balance the desire to preserve your digital legacy with privacy concerns. Some accounts may contain sensitive information that you may not want to share with others.
  • Regular Updates: Just like traditional estate planning, it’s important to review and update your digital estate plan periodically to reflect changes in your online presence and preferences.
Read More
Exemptions and Property Considerations in Bankruptcy

On Behalf of O’Brien Law Firm, LLC

Posted on: August 17, 2023

Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides individuals and businesses with a fresh financial start when they find themselves burdened by overwhelming debt. While the primary objective of bankruptcy is to provide relief to debtors, it’s essential to understand that not all assets are subject to liquidation. Bankruptcy law includes provisions for exemptions, which protect certain types of property from being seized and sold to satisfy creditors.

Exemptions – Safeguarding Essential Assets

Bankruptcy exemptions play a pivotal role in ensuring that debtors can maintain a basic standard of living while undergoing the bankruptcy process. These exemptions vary from state to state and may encompass a range of assets, such as a primary residence, personal items, and tools of the trade. The idea behind exemptions is to strike a balance between providing relief to debtors and ensuring that creditors receive some payment.

Homestead Exemption

One of the most significant exemptions is the homestead exemption, which safeguards a debtor’s primary residence from being sold to satisfy creditors. The value of the homestead exemption varies widely depending on the state, with some states offering unlimited protection while others impose a cap on the value of the property that can be exempted.

Personal Property Exemptions

Exemptions also extend to personal property, which may include clothing, furniture, electronics, and other household items. The goal is to enable debtors to retain their basic possessions and continue their daily lives with dignity. Additionally, exemptions may cover tools of the trade, allowing individuals to safeguard their means of earning a livelihood.

Retirement Accounts and Benefits

In many bankruptcy cases, retirement accounts and benefits are also exempt from liquidation. This recognition underscores the importance of securing a financial future for debtors even after experiencing financial setbacks.

Bankruptcy is a complex legal process that involves a careful balance between debtors’ rights and creditors’ interests. Exemptions serve as a lifeline, enabling individuals and businesses to maintain a semblance of stability during times of financial turmoil. Understanding the nuances of exemptions and property considerations is vital for anyone navigating the bankruptcy process, as it can greatly influence the outcome and provide a more secure financial future.

Read More
“From my initial consultation throughout the entire process, Mr. O'Brien and his staff handled my legal matters with the utmost professionalism and care. I am especially grateful for Crystal who patiently answered all my questions and put my mind to ease over and over. Thank you O'Brien Law Firm, LLC!”
– C.H.
“Thank you so much for the advice. I knew I chose the right attorney!”
– C.H.

Don’t Wait Any Longer

Request a Free Initial Meeting Now