News & Resources

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article, “Life insurance policy exempt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy,” quotes trust litigation partner, Joseph L. Bierwirth, Jr.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly


In a recent bankruptcy case, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Massachusetts held that a personally owned life insurance policy was exempt from the debtor’s bankruptcy estate where the debtor’s revocable trust was the named beneficiary of the policy. The court distinguished the case from an earlier decision within which the life insurance was payable to the owner’s estate.

After analyzing the case from a bankruptcy perspective, the article noted that Hemenway & Barnes partner, Joseph Bierwirth, “who handles trust litigation, was puzzled by Feeney’s analysis.”

“Assets held in revocable trusts are, for the most part, treated as the donor’s property during lifetime,” he said. “Such trusts are often called ‘will substitutes.’ For these reasons, I have a hard time distinguishing a life insurance policy payable on death to the owner’s estate from one payable to a revocable trust.”

To read the full article, please click here:


Communications Policy for Hemenway & Barnes

Thank you for your interest in Hemenway & Barnes, but merely communicating with Hemenway & Barnes LLP or a Hemenway & Barnes lawyer or employee will not create a lawyer-client relationship. Such a relationship will not arise unless and until the firm agrees with you in writing to handle a particular matter. Unless and until this has occurred, you should not convey to us any information you regard as personal or confidential, because any such information will not be treated by us as confidential or subject to any confidentiality requirements.

Our website offers several opportunities for visitors to request information. We use this contact information to send users information about our firm and their selected areas of interest. We may not be able to respond to your request for a variety of reasons, but appreciate your interest in our firm.

Cookie Policy

This website uses cookies to improve functionality and performance. Click here for our privacy policy. By continuing to browse this website, you consent to the use of cookies.

I Agree