Digital Assets: How Do I Protect My Digital Footprint With a Will?

digital assets

In today’s digital age, our lives have become intertwined with technology in more ways than we can imagine. We document memories, manage our finances, and even conduct business online. These digital footprints, often called digital assets, hold immense value, both sentimental and financial. As technology advances, protecting these assets in your estate planning has become crucial. So, what are digital assets in will and estate planning, and how can you safeguard them?

Digital assets encompass a wide range of virtual property, including but not limited to:

  • Social media profiles
  • Financial records
  • Email and communication
  • Digital media
  • Domain names and websites

Steps for Digital Asset Protection

To protect your digital assets effectively, consider these steps:

1. Take Inventory: Create a detailed list of all your digital assets, including logins and passwords, and instructions on management.

2. Appoint a Digital Executor: Designate a trusted individual in your will as an executor to manage your digital assets. Ensure they have the necessary knowledge and access.

3. Provide Clear Instructions: Specify your wishes for each asset. For example, you might want to delete certain online accounts, transfer ownership, or maintain them for family memories and sentimental reasons.

4. Use Online Tools: Some online services offer tools to manage virtual assets should you become incapacitated or deceased. Explore these options and integrate them into your estate plan.

5. Seek Legal Guidance: Consult with an estate planning attorney who understands digital assets and can help you draft a legally sound will that includes them.

As technology evolves, including digital assets in your estate planning is essential. By taking proactive steps to protect your digital footprint, you ensure that the handling of your online presence goes according to your wishes, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones in the digital age. The experienced team at McCutchen McLean, LLC, can help. Contact them today to schedule a free legal consultation.

Protect Your Assets and Your Loved Ones

Protect your assets

You don’t have to be exceptionally wealthy or have a portfolio chock full of assets to incorporate a trust into your estate planning. A trust isn’t a fancy legal situation only for top tier earners. It’s a fiduciary agreement that allows an individual to assign the administration of their estate to a trustee who works on behalf of the family and beneficiaries to ensure the agreement remains intact and followed. In short, it’s your best bet for asset protection and to protect your loved ones. Here are the other benefits of trusts.

Avoiding Probate

A will details a person’s wishes after their death, including who gets what regarding money, belongings, and even assets. However, a will must go through the probate process, which can take months as it works through the probate court system. A trust does not need to go through probate because it’s a private legal contract. This allows for expeditious distribution of assets.

Tax Advantages

An irrevocable trust has tax advantages for your beneficiaries. Any inheritance within a certain range is subject to a gift tax. However, most inheritance from an irrevocable trust is not, which can save your loved ones thousands of dollars, allowing them to keep what you left for them.

Customization Opportunities

A trust allows you to customize when and how your family inherit money and assets from your estate when you’re gone. Things like reaching a certain age, what the beneficiaries can use the money for, the amount distributed and when, and limited or timed distribution. For example, these parameters can include reaching 18 years old, only using the money for college tuition, and only distributing the wealth in small increments annually.

For the best asset protection and to protect your loved ones, don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC, to schedule your consultation to start planning your trust.

Contract Review: 3 Key Parts

Contract review

Estate planning might be more emotional and personal than many other legal agreements, but the contracts are just as critical. Here are three things to look for during the contract review stage of any contract, including estate planning.

#1: Check the Dates and Deadlines

Check and double-check any dates and deadlines listed in the contract. While contracts are sometimes open for revision, estate planning has a unique situation where many, if not all, the elements remain unexecuted until after you or your loved one’s death. So, make sure the dates and deadlines are accurate now.

#2: Terms and Key Clauses

Whether the estate plan is for you or a loved one and whether it’s a simple decree of one’s wishes or a comprehensive plan for distributing wealth and assets, ensure a review of each term and key clause. Spend the time you need to ensure they’re all accurate and reflect your desires for your estate.

#3: Clear Language

Can anyone read the contract and understand the basics of what it’s laying out? If the language is unclear or ambiguous, it could open the contract to interpretation or potential legal conflict. Clear, concise language enables accurate interpretation and execution of your or your loved one’s wishes without needing a third party or mediation to determine the next steps.

Contracts, by nature, are complex and often overwhelming documents, but careful review and consideration are a necessity. When working on estate planning, the last thing you want or need is more stress. For contract review help you can count on, contact the experienced legal team at McCutchen McLean LLC.

4 Tips to Help You Cope with a Family Member’s Difficult Diagnosis

Cope with a Difficult Diagnosis

No one is ever ready for a loved one to receive a diagnosis of a serious or terminal illness. It can make you feel untethered and out of control while it affects every aspect of your life. The ill family member will need significant care, but you can’t neglect yourself in the process. Here are four tips for coping with a difficult diagnosis.

Tip #1: Seek Counseling

Talking about how you feel is essential to helping you cope with the illness, treatment, and potential death of your loved one. From anger to denial, anticipatory grief to feeling overwhelmed, a counselor can help you work through the feelings and cope with what your loved one, and you are going through.

Tip #2: Spend Time Together

Now is the time to be with your loved one. Be open to communication, spend time focusing on connection, and talk about the things you’ve neglected. Talk about the treatment, the prognosis, and what comes after.

Tip #3: Set Up a Support Network

Whether your family member is seriously or terminally ill, you need a support network. Now is the time to circle the wagons. Call on friends and family to help with daily tasks, meals, doctor appointments, and care. Take time to be with friends and loved ones, and take small breaks from being a care giver. Let others help you.

Tip #4: Do the Practical Planning

No one wants to talk about planning for a loved one’s incapacitation or end of life. However, when a serious or terminal diagnosis occurs, that is the time to talk about it and create a plan to care for your loved one and your family. Advance care directives, power of attorney, and estate planning are never easy but don’t wait until it’s too late. The right way to care for them now and honor them when they’re gone is by ensuring handling the legal issues with their input and oversight.

If your family member has a serious or terminal diagnosis, coping can become a daily challenge. We’re here to help. Our compassionate and experienced legal team will work with you to create an estate plan to care for your loved one, you, and your family. Contact McCutchen McLean LLC today.

You’re Ready to Sell Your Business. Now what?

Lawyer to help sell business

Selling a business is not as easy as selling a car or house. Preparing for the process is critical in ensuring it’s as simple and successful as possible. Here are the steps to take when you’re ready to sell your business.

Step One: Consolidate and Organize Your Financials

A buyer for your business needs to see all your financials in one place for careful review. When prepping to sell, consolidate and organize all the information for your and the potential buyer’s review. The documentation should include the following:

  • The last three years of federal tax returns
  • The previous three years of Profit and Loss statements, plus the interim statement and balance sheets
  • List of equipment on hand, including estimated value
  • Inventory of any product still available that is saleable.
  • Information on any real estate or property included in the sale, including appraisal and tax information.

Step Two: Determine the Value of the Business

Don’t give your best guess when it comes to the sale value of your business. When you’ve built it from scratch, you have an emotional and financial investment, so inflating the price is tempting. Instead, hire a professional to provide a business valuation. Setting the right price is critical for optics and getting the most money for your business.

Step Three: Put Together Your Team

Selling a business is a complicated process. Including experienced professionals will help make sure the sale goes smoothly and you get the best price possible. Your team should include your accountant, a business broker, and an attorney. All will work to protect you and your interests throughout the sale process.

When you’re ready to sell your business, start with an experienced legal team. Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC, to get started.

Debt After Death: What You Need to Do

Estate planning lawyer

Who is responsible for the debt after death? Many people fear they will be responsible for a loved one’s debts, but we’re here to clear up the confusion. Here’s what happens to a decedent’s debt and what you need to do.

Do Debts Die When a Person Does?

Debt does not go away when a person dies. Their debt needs paying, but relatives and loved ones are not responsible for that debt. The debt must come out of the deceased’s estate. The only time someone other than the deceased is responsible for the debt is if they have co-signed on a loan or other obligation, if the law requires the spouse to pay certain debts, or if they are legally responsible for the debt. The estate pays any debts after death unless there aren’t enough funds, and then they may be unpaid.

Who Pays the Debt?

The executor of a person’s estate is responsible for managing debt payments. If the will names an executor, that person settles the affairs of the person who died. If there is no will, the probate courts assign an administrator. Creditors can present claims to the executor or administrator within eight months of the notification of the person’s death.

What Should You Do?

When a loved one dies, the best course of action is to contact a probate attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you work through any disputes with creditors and the deceased’s assets, navigate the probate process, and manage the administration of your loved one’s will and estate.

The last thing you want to do when a family member dies is manage the business of their debt after death. Contact the experienced legal team at McCutchen McLean, LLC,

for the compassionate help you need in the process.



James McCutchen drafted our estate planning documents and he did a fantastic job. The entire process was easy and affordable. I highly recommend James for any of your estate planning or probate needs.



James McCutchen helped me with my business contract for my new business venture. He was able to offer helpful and informative suggestions and recommendations for my contract. It is reassuring to have someone like James look over my contract to know that I will be covered. His service was outstanding and I highly recommend him for your legal needs!!



I recently had a tax issue with the IRS. I called McCutchen McClean law firm and they were able to fit me in quickly. They sat down with me, reviewed all the documents, listened to my concerns, and gave me wonderful advice as to how to fix the issue. They were friendly and understanding. Now, my tax issue is resolved, taking a HUGE weight off my mind. I would recommend them for any tax issue you may have! The service, hospitality, knowledge, and professionalism was outstanding!



We recently used James McCutchen and we could not be any happier! He was very kind, thorough when answering all of our questions and the best part of all we got everything completed pretty quickly. We highly recommend James. Thanks again for everything!



I have referred several clients to them. My clients are very happy with the outstanding, timely service they receive. James and Robin are extremely smart and professional, yet speak in "plain english" so everyone walks away educated regarding their tax, estate or family law issue.



Smart people that do great work.



I used Robin McLean as an attorney to secure a divorce about 20 months ago. I found her to be efficient, reasonably priced, and very well skilled. I was completely happy with her work. She did what she said. Since that time, I needed additional help with paperwork and she responded promptly and to my complete satisfaction. I highly recommend Robin as an attorney.


! NOTICE ! No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues problems.