Happy New Year! Video Greetings from The Gordillo Law Firm
Sometimes, the unexpected arises. And it’s time to stop and observe it. History happened today. A terrible chapter of history but history nonetheless. So, I stopped to observe it. I watched as protestors took over the United States Capitol building and the halls of Congress and literally shut Congress down.
I don’t know what tomorrow or the next two weeks or the next four years will bring us. But I know what happened today will never be erased. I know that today, a lot of people – for better or worse – created an important and lasting part of their legacies. I wonder if they thought about that before it happened.
I think more often than not, our legacies are created by things that happen without much thought. Our legacies get created by circumstance: We ended up in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time. Much less often we ended up in a place we planned to be.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can live with purpose. Living each day with a small purpose that is consistent from one day to the next is how we build and leave a legacy by design. And leaving the legacy is as important as building it.
Part of the legacy I hope to build is one of living a life of service to others. When I can’t build it any longer, I hope to have left it by making sure that the people I served and the people I love all get to benefit from it. That’s why I am building the Gordillo Law Firm. For your Business. For Your Family.
What legacy do you want to build? How do you want to leave it? Can I help you do it? I will be happy to if I can.
This month, our Spotlight featured artist is my very favorite: My amazingly accomplished, talented wife and the Gordillo Law Firm’s Outreach Coordinator, Deborah Gordillo. I hope you enjoy her performance from our home as she plays Franz Liszt’s Eglogue for you.
From websites and social media to e-newsletters and mobile apps, it’s virtually impossible to survive in today’s marketplace without having a digital footprint of one form or another. And when it comes to conducting business in the online world, protecting your clients’ personal data is paramount.
In addition to the risk of getting hit with a lawsuit from a client whose data was hacked or lost, you must also take steps to comply with federal and state laws governing data privacy. To help you stay in compliance with such laws and avoid lawsuits, here are three essential strategies for managing the privacy and security of your client’s data.
1. Install multiple layers of security
To protect your company’s server and computers, you should install a comprehensive array of security systems, such as anti-virus software, firewalls, intrusion-prevention systems, and anti-subversion software. The key is to add as many layers of security as possible, since hackers are likely to move on to an easier target, if your network and devices are well defended.
And don’t forget to regularly install updates to your security software, so you’ll be protected against the latest threats. Regularly check your software vendors’ websites and the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (UC-CERT) website to stay up-to-date on the latest viruses, vulnerabilities, and patches.
2. Select the most secure web hosting service
Web hosts house your website and data on their own off-site servers. There are numerous web hosting companies out there, and they come with varying levels of server-side protection, including security cameras, anti-virus and anti-spyware systems, and hard-wired firewalls.
Choose a web host that offers a high level of security, especially against cross-side server attacks. Those involve hackers who open a fake account with the web host to access other websites on the same server. For enhanced protection, use a virtual private server. A virtual private server partitions your website from other sites that share the same server.
3. Invest in cyber insurance
As with other forms of liability your business faces, having the proper insurance in place is a foundational aspect of your company’s data protection plan. To this end, you’ll want to purchase a cyber insurance policy.
Cyber insurance offers protection against damages resulting from data breaches, hacking, network failures, and other events. If your business’ network is breached, the cost to recover and restore this information can be extensive. Moreover, you can also be held liable for damages to third parties, such as customers and vendors, whose data was lost or stolen from your system.
Depending on the coverage, cyber insurance can pay for a wide array of services to repair your network and retrieve your data, including investigations, business interruption, and data recovery. It can also cover the cost of notifying clients of a breach, paying fines, as well as paying lawyer fees, judgments, and settlement costs resulting from a lawsuit.
Regardless of the size of your digital footprint, you should stay apprised of the latest cyber threats and digital privacy laws to ensure your client’s data is secure. As your Family Business Lawyer™, we can advise you on the safeguards you should have in place and keep you updated on the ever-changing legal landscape surrounding digital privacy.
Starting a new year is always a time for reflection, but given how crazy the past 12 months have been, the dawning of 2021 is the ideal moment to reconsider what matters most in your life. And no matter who you are, providing for your loved ones in the event something happens to you should be a key part of such introspection.
The holiday season and new year are always a great time to bring up estate planning, and given the recent surge of COVID-19, talking about these issues is particularly urgent this time around. That said, talking about such touchy subjects can be tricky. In order to make your planning talk as productive as possible, consider the following four tips.
1. Set aside a time and place to talk
Discussing estate planning at the dinner table likely won’t be very productive. Your best bet is to schedule a time, when you can all gather to talk without distractions or interruptions.
Be upfront with your family about the meeting’s purpose, so no one is taken by surprise and people come prepared for the talk. Choose a setting that’s comfortable, quiet, and private. The more relaxed everyone is, the more likely they’ll be comfortable opening up.
2. Create an agenda, and set a start and stop time
Create a list of the most important points you want to cover, and do your best to stick to them. You should encourage open conversation, but having a list of items you want to cover can help ensure you don’t forget anything.
Also, set a start and stop time for the conversation. This will help keep the discussion on track and prevent people from veering too far off topic. If anything important comes up that’s not on the list, you can always continue the discussion later. Remember, the goal is to simply get the conversation started, not work out all of the details or dollar amounts.
3. Explain why planning is important
Assure everyone that the conversation isn’t about prying into anyone’s finances, health, or relationships—it’s about providing for the family’s future security and wellbeing no matter what happens. It’s about ensuring everyone’s wishes are clearly understood and honored, not about finding out how much money someone stands to inherit.
Talking about these issues is also a good way to avoid future conflict and expense. When family members don’t clearly understand the reasoning behind one another’s planning choices, it’s likely to breed conflict, resentment, and even costly legal battles.
4. Discuss your planning experience
If you’ve already created your plan, start the talk by explaining the planning documents you have in place and why you chose them. If you’ve worked with us, as your Family Business Lawyer™, describe how the process unfolded and how we supported you to create a plan designed for your unique wishes and needs.
If you have loved ones who’ve yet to do any planning and have doubts about its usefulness, discuss their concerns in a sympathetic and supportive manner, sharing how you dealt with similar issues whenever possible.
For the love of your family
As your Family Business Lawyer™, I can help guide and support you in having these intimate discussions with your loved ones. When done right, planning can put your life and relationships into a much clearer focus and offer peace of mind knowing that the people you love most will be protected and provided for no matter what.
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