SPIEGEL & UTRERA, P.A.

LAWYERS

PAYMENT IS NOT REQUIRED

SPIEGEL & UTRERA, P.A.

LAWYERS

PAYMENT IS NOT REQUIRED

SPIEGEL & UTRERA, P.A.

LAWYERS

PAYMENT IS NOT REQUIRED

SPIEGEL & UTRERA, P.A.

LAWYERS

PAYMENT IS NOT REQUIRED

ASSET
PROTECTION
LAW

—SAFEGUARDING YOUR WORK EFFORT

*Did you know there’s a way to shield all of your assets from creditors?

TRUSTS|WILLS

—FAMILIAL PEACE OF MIND

*The easiest breath comes from knowing your family is covered

PLANNING SUCCESSION

—PLAN YOUR SUCCESSION, BUILD YOUR LEGACY

*Succession plans are much more than leaving everything to your family. Ask us about posterity.

Welcome to our Planning&Succession section!
—PROTECTING TODAY PLANNING TOMORROW
FAQs & Points Of Interest
WHY
What is Intestate Succession?

If a person dies without a Last Will & Testament, their assets pass to their heirs in accordance with a formula determined by state law.

What is A Last Will & Testament?
A Last Will & Testament is a disposition of assets from a person to their heirs. Having a Last Will & Testament means a person has the freedom to choose who are their heirs, Personal Representative or Executor to administer their estate, what gifts are made and to who or what, who is a guardian of surviving children, who bears the tax burden and whether real estate and other assets may be sold with probate court proceedings. It is very important to insure the Last Will & Testament meets certain formalities so it is deemed valid.
Is A Last Will & Testament Necessary?

It’s very important that you have a Last Will & Testament to designate the Personal Representative, Executor or Executrix to insure your estate is managed properly. Also, you never know, things could change. People frequently underestimate their assets. Who would get your car and personal effects that may possibly have sentimental value? Furthermore, if you accidentally died, although your family would have a separate cause of action for wrongful death, with a survivor action brought on your behalf and which is considered to belong to the your estate, if you had a Last Will & Testament in place, any recovery would be distributed according to the terms of the Last Will & Testament

What’s a Simple Last Will & Testament?
A simple Last Will & Testament is one prepared for someone with a small estate where estate planning is not a significant concern.
What is Testate and Intestate?
If you have a Last Will & Testament to provide guidance as to your intent, it is testate. If there is no Last Will & Testament, it is administered by a statutory formula and it is called intestate.
How Are Wills & Testaments Contested?

Last Will & Testaments cannot be contested because an heir or potential heir thinks the Last Will & Testament is unfair or the decedent didn’t like the heirs. There has to be some kind of impropriety, such as that the Last Will & Testament didn’t have the proper legal formalities, such as execution without proper witnesses, notary, or other formal requirements, the Testator or Testatrix of the Last Will & Testament lacked mental capacity (i.e., was senile or suffering from dementia), the Testator or Testatrix of the Last Will & Testament was under undue influence of another person, the assets Last Will & Testament will be distributed in violation of state law, there is unclear, confusing, or ambiguous language in the Last Will & Testament, there is a breach of fiduciary duty by the Personal Representative, Executor or Executrix for failure to make proper or timely distributions, failure to make proper or timely accountings, failure to administer the Last Will & Testament in the manner required by the document, or self dealing, fraud and excessive compensation.

What is Probate?
Probate is the court-supervised process whereby debts and taxes of a decedent’s estate are paid before distributions are paid to heirs of the decedent. A Personal Representative, Executor or Executrix administers the estate.
What Assets Are Probated?
Generally all assets are probated, except for assets with named beneficiaries such as pay-on-death accounts, IRAs, 401(k) accounts, life insurance, joint tenancies and revocable living Trusts assets are not probated, generally all other assets are.
Summary Probate Proceedings?

Most states have enacted laws for the expedited probate administration of small estates in order to enable heirs to obtain property of the deceased provided certain requirements are met. As a result, small estates can be administered with less time and cost. If the deceased had conveyed most property to a trust but there remains some property, small estate laws may also be available.

What is a Forced Share?
The spouse of a decedent is entitled by law to receive a certain percentage of the decedent’s estate.
What is a Trust?
A Trust is an arrangement where money, real estate, or other assets are transferred from the settlor to be managed and administered for the benefit of another pursuant to the terms of the Trust.
What is a Revocable Living Trust?
It is where the Trust is created during the settlor’s or grantor’s lifetime. Generally, the revocable living Trust is created by a written document, known as a Trust instrument, and funding of the Trust should occur at the same time as the execution of the Trust instrument, or shortly thereafter . Most often the grantor or settlor, the creator of the Trust, and Trustee, the administrator of the Trust, are the same individual, and the grantor or settlor reserves the right to revoke or amend the Trust at any time.

The grantor or settlor is typically the primary beneficiary during his or her lifetime. At the grantor or settlor’s death, the Trust becomes irrevocable, and, after payment of taxes, expenses, and debts, the Trust assets are distributed to designated beneficiaries or allocated among new Trusts created at the death of the grantor or settlor under the Trust instrument.

Who is a Trust Settlor or Grantor?
A settlor or grantor (the terms are interchangeable) is the creator of the Trust.
PLANNING
Can Someone Hold Multiple Roles?

Yes, the same person may be the grantor or settlor, a Trustee, and a beneficiary (with perhaps additional Trustees and beneficiaries).

Advantages to a Revocable Living Trust?

The primary reasons to consider using a Revocable Living Trust have to do with ease of administration and to avoid probate. The Trust instrument typically provides that in the event of the grantor or settlor’s incapacity, such as mental illness or physical disability, a successor Trustee takes over the administration of Trust property. This means that a costly and public court proceeding to establish guardianship is avoided.

The main attraction of Revocable Living Trust is the avoidance of probate upon the grantor or settlor’s death. Probate is avoided because the Trust assets are owned by the Trust rather than the grantor or settlor. Also, if a grantor or settlor has properties in several states, the cost of probate administration is avoided because administration is consolidated with one Trust instrument.

The property held in the Trust will pass at the grantor or settlor’s death free of probate unless the Trust estate is to be distributed to the Personal Representative of the probate estate.

What are some other advantages?
  • The Trust can become irrevocable upon the grantor or settlor’s incapacity or incompetency, but become revocable upon the recovery of the grantor or settlor and perhaps allow the avoidance of guardianship proceedings;
  • The Trust can be used to segregate assets for many purposes such as second marriages where pre-marriage assets can be held in the event of a later divorce;
  • There may be some creditor protection for the assets held in the Trust, if the grantor or settlor is given only a limited power, not the power to revoke; and
  • Unlike a Last Will & Testament, the Trust agreement does not become a public document.
How is the Revocable Living Trust taxed?
Generally, during the grantor or settlor/Trustee’s lifetime, because of the Trust’s revocability, the grantor or settlor is considered to own the assets, the trust is a disregarded entity for tax purposes and is the grantor or settlor is taxed on any income (and entitled to any deductions) as though the Trust does not exist. At the grantor or settlor/Trustee’s death, the Trust is deemed a taxable entity separate from the settlor or grantor/Trustee and from the estate.
Who is a Trust Beneficiary?
It is the person or persons for whom the Trust is administered and intended to benefit. There are principal beneficiaries and income beneficiaries. Principal beneficiaries get direct distributions of a trust asst or the proceeds from the sale of a principal asset held in Trust. Income beneficiaries are entitled to a current return of income a Trust asset.
Who is a Trustee?
The Trustee administers the Trust subject to the parameters of a contract known as a Trust instrument. If you are a widow or widower, you may wish to have a son or daughter listed as Co-Trustee with either signature required. Or you may wish to serve as sole Trustee, with a son or daughter listed as Successor Trustee, to serve only if you become incapacitated or die. If that son or daughter is unable to serve years from now when needed, you will want to list several successors in order that they would serve. You will want the Trust never to be without a Trustee that you have chosen.

If you have no children, or your children cannot serve, or you wish not to use your children, you may choose any person even if not related to you. You may also choose an attorney or a bank with Trust Powers, although you should be aware of the yearly costs. However, in a large, complex estate, a banking institution with Trust Powers may have advantages that outweigh the costs. Should your spouse be a resident or non-resident alien you will be required to use a U.S. person if you wish to preserve the marital deduction for estate tax purposes. Your particular situation should be discussed on an individual basis.

What Are Co-Trustees?
A revocable living Trust can have more than one Trustees, known as Co-Trustees, so that the court doesn’t have to appoint a Trustee upon the death or incapacity of the sole Trustee. In most situations, you and your spouse will be Co-Trustees.
What is A Successor Trustee?
While Co-Trustees serve as Trustees at the same time, a successor Trustee takes over upon the death or incapacity or resignation of the then-serving Trustee. Generally, spouses will be Co-Trustees and then when both spouses are no longer capable of managing the assets, their child or children will serve as a Successor Trustee.
Can Beneficiaries Be Limited?
Yes. The Trust instrument could be drafted so that during the lifetime of the beneficiary, the Trustee could distribute to or for the benefit of the beneficiary as much as income and as much as principal as in the sole and exclusive discretion of the Trustee as is necessary for the health, welfare, support, and education of the beneficiary.
What is a Spendthrift Provision?
A spendthrift provision prevents creditors from attaching the interest of the beneficiary in the Trust before that interest (cash or property) is actually distributed to him or her. Most well drafted Trust instruments contain spendthrift provisions because such provisions protects the Trust and the beneficiary in the event a beneficiary is sued and a judgment creditor attempts to attach the beneficiary’s interest in the Trust.
How Do I Transfer Assets to the Trust?
You should transfer title to the Trust the way it normally would happen: with a deed for real property; a vehicle title for a car; or a bill of sale for personal property. If you have a mortgage, you should contact the lender to find out if they will permit the transfer. The transfer to the Trust will be effective and perfected when the deed is signed, documented and recorded.

A bill of sale is used to transfer most personal property. Anything not transferred to the Trust may be subject to probate. Because personal property may be purchased after the date of the bill of sale, periodic transfers would need to be made or purchase may be made directly by the trust with its cash, bank note or credit card.

Does the Trust Provide Asset Protection?
Generally, no. Assets are treated as owned by the grantor or settlor and subject to creditors. However, beneficiaries may be protected with spendthrift provisions.
Revocable vs. Irrevocable Living Trust
A revocable Trust is a Trust where the Trust can be modified, amended, or revoked; an irrevocable Trust is a Trust, which, by its terms, cannot be modified, amended, or revoked. What does this mean? While the Revocable Living Trust allows the grantor or settlor to retain some asset control, has flexibility and avoids the costs and duration of probate, the tradeoff is that the assets in the Trust do not avoid the estate tax. With an Irrevocable Living Trust the grantor or settlor’s control is ceded, but the estate tax is avoided.
MATTERS
Assets Protected by the Trust

The assets that are transferred to the Trust. Just drafting and executing a Trust is not enough: asset transfer documents need to be executed to perfect the transfer of the assets and insure insider control.

Fraudulent Revocable Living Trusts
  • Tax avoidance schemes marketed by promoters promise taxpayers that they can avoid paying taxes while not losing control of their assets and may involve the use of Trusts.
  • Generally, Trust income is taxable unless there is a specific exemption. However, a Trust may deduct distributions to its beneficiaries. Meanwhile, typically in abusive Trust schemes, there are improper deductions of these expenses and repeated shifting of remaining income to other Trusts in an effort to hide the money. As a result, there is a decrease in the amount of taxable income is underreported.
  • There are proper uses of Trusts for estate planning, but you have to be wary of Trust “shell games” where income is shifted and deductions are claimed for illegitimate expenses. It is essential you seek the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
The Durable Power of Attorney is a document you will keep in your possession and under your control, but you will tell your spouse and/or child that there is a Durable Power of Attorney authorizing them to act if you are alive, but incapacitated.

For example, if you are in a car accident and taken to the hospital, who will be able to get your car from the storage lot to where it is towed? If the car is titled in your name alone, your spouse or, if your spouse is out of town or in the same accident, your child or friend cannot sign your name to get the car released without specific written Durable Power of Attorney which states that it survives your disability.

You should have a Durable Power of Attorney for each spouse for the other spouse and, in case your spouse is deceased or also incapacitated, a second Durable Power of Attorney to a child or friend. Since some entities such as a car-tow lot may require only a simple Power of Attorney, you may want a regular Power of Attorney rather than a Durable Power of Attorney.

Without the Durable Power of Attorney, you would be required to have a conservator or guardian of your property appointed by the court, which is expensive and extremely cumbersome. However, there are situations when someone else may require a conservator or guardian be appointed by the court and you will want the conservator or guardian to be a family member rather than some stranger or professional guardian. The law allows you to make a pre-need designation of guardian.

Health Care Directives
An Advanced Health Care Directive, Living Will or Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions is a person’s written indication of the person that makes health care decisions on their behalf, when to terminate life support and the types of treatments he or she wants to receive if he or she becomes ill and cannot communicate his wishes at that time. If you are lacking an Advanced Health Care Directive, Living Will or Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions to provide guidance to family and health care providers as to your wishes, decisions about your health care may be made for you by a court-appointed guardian, your wife or husband, your adult child, your parent, your adult sibling, an adult relative, or a close friend. The individual making healthcare decisions for you may or may not be aware of your wishes concerning treatment restrictions. If you have an Advanced Health Care Directive, Living Will or Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions and discuss it with your family and significant people in your life, it will better assure that your wishes will be carried out.
Pour-Over Last Will & Testament

The Pour-Over Last Will & Testament bequeaths assets you direct and the assets remaining are transferred to a Trust or Trusts so that the Trust grantor or settlor can maintain control over certain assets during their lifetime and then have it for the benefit of Trust beneficiaries upon his or her death.

For example, Billy Bob has a house, some land and a glittery diamond ring. He sets up a Trust for his son, Sam. When he sets up the Trust, he funds it with the land and the house. Billy Bob forgot to put the diamond ring in the Trust, but the Pour-Over Last Will & Testament provides that anything not specifically transferred during the lifetime of the grantor or settlor “pours over” into the Trust so the diamond ring becomes the property of the Trust upon his death.

What’s a Marital Exemption Trust?
In the past, the Marital Exemption Trust or A/B Trust allowed married persons to escape certain estate taxes. Now, the estate tax is being gradually phased out until 2010. Without further legislative action, the estate tax will be restored in 2011. Because of the legislative uncertainty, is therefore difficult to predict whether the Marital Exemption Trust would be useful. However, a judicious estate planner may want to have a Marital Exemption Trust if the estate tax remains.

The estate tax is levied by multiplying the gross estate (plus adjusted taxable gifts) by the estate tax rate. Then, amounts in excess of a unified credit ($2,000,000 in 2007 or $1,000,000 for each spouse) are subject to the federal estate tax. In the case of a married couple, each spouse is entitled to all of their unified credit and each spouse may pass to their children or others, tax-free, the full value of their applicable credit equivalent amount. Furthermore, when spouses leave their estates to a surviving spouse, the estate tax marital deduction is unlimited. However, the down side is that one spouse leaving their estates to the other pushes the value of the surviving spouse’s estate so it is beyond the credit equivalent.

This is avoided by using a Marital Exemption Trust or A/B Trust. Because the marital deduction is unlimited, some think that they can leave their estates to their spouse with no estate tax consequences. By failing to plan, the married couple Last Will & Testament have thrown away the deceased spouse’s unified credit ($1,000,000 for each spouse) and, the deceased spouse Last Will & Testament have stacked — up to an amount equal to the annual estate exclusion amount that could have passed tax-free — into the estate of the surviving spouse.

When both spouses establish credit bypass Trusts for each others’ benefit, under the terms of their Trust instruments, the first credit equivalent amount applicable in the year of death of their estate passes to the Trust. Generally, the Trust provides that all of its income is for the benefit of the surviving spouse, certain distributions of principal are allowed, and upon the surviving spouse’s death, the remainder passes to the beneficiary or beneficiaries tax-free.

The operative feature of a credit bypass Trust — and the reason it is not included in the estate of the surviving spouse — is that it is not considered property of the deceased spouse at the time of his or her death owned outright. Instead, the decedent may have an income interest for life in the Trust established by the other spouse.

What is a Gift?
A gift is made when you give property (including money), or the use of or income from property, without expecting to receive something of at least equal value in return. It also may be when you sell something at less than its full value or if you make an interest-free or reduced-interest loan.
What is the Gift Tax?
The gift tax applies to the transfer by gift of any property. The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. For estates of decedents dying, and gifts made, after 2006, the maximum rate for the estate tax and the gift tax for 2007, 2008, and 2009 is 45%.
Are there exceptions to the Gift Tax?

Yes, there are many exceptions. Generally, the following gifts are not taxable gifts:

  1. Gifts that are not more than the annual exclusion for the calendar year.
  2. Tuition or medical expenses you pay for someone (the educational and medical exclusions).
  3. Gifts to your spouse.
  4. Gifts to a political organization for its use.
What’s the Annual Gift Exclusion?
Currently it is $12,000. This means you can make gifts totaling that amount tax-free.
What is the Lifetime Exclusion?
You may give a substantial amount during your lifetime without ever paying a gift tax. As of 2008 the amount is $1,000,000.

The lifetime exclusion isn’t triggered until your gifts to one person in one year exceed the annual exclusion amount (currently $12,000). So for example, if you make a $15,000 gift in 2008, $3,000 of your lifetime limit will be expended.

Any dollar amount used out of your lifetime gift tax exclusion is deducted against the estate tax exclusion, which is $2,000,000 as of 2008 and $3,500,000 as of 2009. This means that if you use $250,000 of the limit by making gifts during your lifetime, you have reduced by $250,000 the amount that can be passed tax-free.

What is a Premarital Agreement?
The laws governing the validity of premarital agreements vary from state to state. In general, the agreements must be in writing and signed by the parties.

In most states, the parties must disclose their income and assets to the other party. This way, the parties will be apprised of the consequences of signing a premarital agreement. Sometimes it is difficult to make a precise statement of a party’s net worth, such as in the instance of a small business where it is difficult to ascertain the value of the business.

In order to be valid, an agreement must not be the result of fraud or duress. An agreement is likely to be invalid on the basis of fraud if the wealthier party deliberately misrepresents their financial condition. Also, if one person exerts excessive emotional trauma to force the other party to sign the agreement, a court also might declare the agreement to be invalid because of duress.

In order to avoid an appearance of duress and to give the parties ample time to consider the agreement, the agreement should be reviewed within a reasonable time frame by separate, independent attorney at law for each party. The greater the amount of time the parties have to consider the agreement, there is more of a likelihood a court would find the agreement to be voluntary.

The parties, particularly the less wealthy party, might be asked to sign a written statement reflecting their understanding and consent to the agreement. Alternatively, the signing of the agreement might be videotaped (or audio taped) with the parties providing oral statements of their understanding and consent to the agreement as well.

What is a Guardian?
If someone becomes incapacitated a Guardian may be appointed to make decisions concerning them personally or their property. A Personal Guardian tends to the personal care of the incapacitated individual, while an Guardian of the Property or Estate Guardian is the Guardian of a person’s estate (real estate, personal property, money, and the like). One person can be Guardian of both, or separate Guardians may be appointed.

ASSET|PROTECTION—ESSENTIAL
—BUSINESS PROTECTION—SEA TO SEA—DEPTH —DIRECT

Federal&Beyond

 

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Trademark Services

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Lien Protection

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Contractor v. Employee

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GCC & RA

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Contract Consulting

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TM Receipt*

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Charging Order Protecting Entities — Business entities offer limited liability, protecting investors from business liabilities. However, creditors of LLC members or limited partners may theoretically force non-debtor partners into an involuntary partnership with the creditor.
Many state legislatures prevent creditors from seizing partnership interests. Instead, they allow a charging order, limiting recovery to the partner’s right to distributions. This protection is found in Charging Order Protected Entities (COPE), such as Limited Partnerships (LP), Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), Limited Liability Limited Partnerships (LLLP), and Series LLCs.
LLC’s and COPE’s —- careful drafting of the operating agreement or partnership agreement prohibits distributions to the debtor member of the LLC or partner of the partnership as well as forbids a debtor of a partner in a partnership or member of an LLC from becoming an unwanted member of the LLC or partner of the partnership
Avoid forming a single-member LLC, except in Nevada. Charging order protection aims to shield non-debtor members or partners from being forced into partnerships or LLCs with the debtor’s creditor. Due to legal uncertainty, it’s presumed that single-member LLCs likely lack charging order protection.

 

Corporations are Not the Optimum
Can somebody take advantage of Asset Protection with a corporation? The sad fact is they can’t. A judgment against a stockholder of a corporation can result in judicial foreclosure of the stock of the shareholder/debtor, or “reverse piercing” of the corporate veil so that the corporation’s assets can be reached to satisfy the claim against the shareholder/debtor. Other types of business entities are not as exposed as the corporation, and can be subject to the protection of a charging order..
Federal trademark registration safeguards against imitators causing brand confusion and harm to your reputation. Spiegel & Utrera, P.A., boasts a track record of aiding clients in state trademark registration. Prior to proceeding, ensuring your unique trademark concept remains unclaimed is essential. An unmistakable brand symbol linked to your offerings holds immense value. Spiegel & Utrera are here to cover you.
A popular COPE is the Family Limited Partnership (FLP), a Limited Partnership where family members hold most or all of the ownership interest in a Limited Partnership, as it is an important vehicle for Asset Protection and Estate Planning. The FLP can be formed so that a husband and wife are each General Partners that handle the day-to-day operations of the family business or perhaps by a husband and an older son. Furthermore, the FLP has limited partners that invest, perhaps only nominally, in the FLP. Typically, the husband, wife and children are the limited partners as well.
After forming the FLP, all family assets can be transferred into it, including investments and business interests. After the transfers, rather than such assets being owned individually by the husband and wife, etc., the husband and wife will own a controlling interest in a business entity that owns the assets. The family members that are General Partners will have complete management and control over the affairs of the partnership and can buy or sell any assets they wish on behalf of the FLP. Furthermore, as General Partners the family members can decide either to distribute the proceeds from the sale of the assets or to have the FLP keep such proceeds.
An important feature of the FLP is Asset Protection. If an individual is sued and the plaintiff gets a judgment against the defendant, the plaintiff/judgment creditor can seize everything owned by the defendant/debtor.
An entity can more effectively manage, license, and transfer IP assets. It ensures that the rights to these assets are clearly defined, making transactions and negotiations with third parties smoother.
If a husband and wife plan wisely and are partners in an FLP where they transferred all their former personal assets to the FLP, the only asset individually owned is the interest in the FLP. A creditor cannot reach into the FLP and seize the investments and bank accounts of the FLP. The creditor has no rights to any property held by the FLP. Since title to the assets is in the name of the FLP and it is an individual that is a partner rather than the partnership itself which is liable for the debt, the partnership assets may not be taken to satisfy the judgment.

A creditor may apply to a court for a charging order against an individual partner’s partnership interest. When this happens, in the event of an FLP distribution, instead of the money going to the individual partner, the money goes to the judgment creditor until the amount of the judgment is satisfied. Cash distributions paid to the partner/debtor could, therefore, be taken by the creditor. This doesn’t mean that the judgment creditor is a partner in FLP, it means the judgment creditor receives the right to any distributions paid to an individual partner/debtor.

A Federal Trademark is a word, name, symbol, phrase, slogan, or combination of these items which is used to mark and distinguish goods or services to indicate their source or origin throughout the United States. Federal Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using the same or a similar Mark in the United States.
Federal trademark registration safeguards against imitators causing brand confusion and harm to your reputation. Spiegel & Utrera, P.A., boasts a track record of aiding clients in state trademark registration. Prior to proceeding, ensuring your unique trademark concept remains unclaimed is essential. Entrust Spiegel & Utrera, P.A. with their legal expertise to guide you seamlessly through the state trademark or servicemark registration procedure. An unmistakable brand symbol linked to your offerings holds immense value.
A Federal Servicemark is the same as a Federal Trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. A registered Servicemark allows you to put everyone on notice with the Federal Trademark symbol “®” once the Federal Trademark process is complete.
Advertise and promote your Mark and build name recognition and goodwill for your business with out fear of losing the Mark to another. Servicemarks may subject copycat to injunction, statutory treble damages, profit disgorgement and attorney’s fees if litigation is necessary to prevent such a copycat from using your Mark.

 

“First use” refers to the concept that the individual or entity who first uses a trademark, trade name, or any other form of intellectual property in commerce gains certain legal rights to that property. These rights are typically associated with trademark law. It’s important to note that intellectual property rights, especially related to trademarks, can be complex and subject to specific legal requirements and deadlines.
Federal trademark registration safeguards against imitators causing brand confusion and harm to your reputation. Spiegel & Utrera, P.A., boasts a track record of aiding clients in state trademark registration. Prior to proceeding, ensuring your unique trademark concept remains unclaimed is essential. An unmistakable brand symbol linked to your offerings holds immense value. Spiegel & Utrera are here to cover you.
Intent to Use (ITU) is a crucial concept in intellectual property law, particularly in the context of trademarks. It allows individuals or businesses to apply for trademark protection before they’ve actually started using the mark in commerce. This provision is invaluable for those who are in the process of developing a product or service but want to secure their brand identity early. Preparation and timing are paramount.
By filing an ITU application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), applicants establish their intent to use a specific trademark in the near future. This reserves their rights to that mark, preventing others from registering a similar mark during the development phase. However, it’s essential to provide a bona fide intent to use the mark, as false claims can lead to the cancellation of the application.
Once the mark is in use, the applicant must submit proof of use to complete the registration process. ITU applications offer a strategic advantage for securing brand names, allowing businesses to protect their intellectual property from the outset.
Assigning ownership to an entity (such as a corporation or LLC) provides legal clarity and protection. It separates personal assets from IP assets, shielding individuals from personal liability in case of legal disputes.
An entity can more effectively manage, license, and transfer IP assets. It ensures that the rights to these assets are clearly defined, making transactions and negotiations with third parties smoother.
IP ownership by an entity ensures continuity. Even if individuals within the organization change, the entity’s ownership of the IP remains intact, providing stability and longevity to the assets. In case of IP infringement, it’s easier for an entity to take legal action and enforce its IP rights, as it’s a recognized legal entity with standing in court.

The interplay between state and federal intellectual property (IP) laws in the United States is a complex and multifaceted legal landscape, particularly when it comes to trademark, servicemark, trade dress, and copyright protections. These areas of IP law involve a delicate balance between federal and state regulations, each serving distinct yet interconnected roles

The federal government, through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), grants trademark, servicemark, and copyright registrations. Federal registration provides broad protection and exclusive rights to use a mark nationwide. Once registered, the mark holder can enforce their rights in federal courts.

 

Copyright law is exclusively governed by federal statutes. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required for copyright protection, but it offers several advantages, including the ability to sue for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in federal court. Federal copyright law covers a wide range of creative works, from literary and artistic creations to software and architectural designs.

While states don’t grant copyright protection, they may handle various copyright-related matters. For instance, if there’s a dispute over a copyright contract or an infringement case involving a state entity, these issues might be litigated in state courts. Additionally, some states may have specific copyright laws related to certain types of works, like state-produced materials.

Some states offer their own trademark registration systems, often referred to as “state trademarks” or “servicemarks.” While these registrations confer limited geographical protection within the state, they can be valuable for businesses primarily operating locally. However, state trademark rights are generally subordinate to federal trademark rights.

Some businesses, particularly small or local ones, may opt for state trademark registration. This process typically provides protection limited to the state in which it’s registered. For instance, if a bakery in New York registers its logo as a state trademark, it can protect its rights only within New York’s borders. However, this state-level protection can be valuable for businesses that operate primarily within a specific geographic area.

 

A servicemark, like a trademark, is indeed used to identify and distinguish the source of services rather than physical goods. Servicemarks protect names, logos, or other identifiers associated with services, helping consumers identify the source of those services. The primary difference between trademarks and servicemarks is the type of offering they protect—trademarks are for goods, while servicemarks are for services. The protection and registration process for both, whether at the federal or state level, operate on similar principles of preventing confusion and protecting the brand’s identity in the context of commerce.

Servicemark owners have the legal right to enforce their marks by taking legal action against unauthorized use or infringement. This enforcement can include seeking damages, injunctive relief, or other remedies to protect the servicemark’s integrity.

Continued Use Declaration

or Excusable Nonuse

$349.95
+gov filing fee

YOUR SATISFACTION —  Our Guarantee

declare now!
Other Services

TM / SM Common Law Search

Search & Attorney Opinion

$250.00
+gov filing fee

YOUR SATISFACTION —  Our Guarantee

search now!
Other Services

Use Notice

6mo Statement or Allegation

$249.95
+gov filing fee

YOUR SATISFACTION —  Our Guarantee

file notice now!
Other Services

120mo Renewal

Trademark or Servicemark

$250.00
+gov filing fee

YOUR SATISFACTION —  Our Guarantee

renew now!
Other Services

Trademark Monitoring

ask about online protection

$424.95
monthly

YOUR SATISFACTION —  Our Guarantee

monitor now!
Other Services

SPIEGEL & UTRERA, P.A.

LAWYERS

Here for you through & through

Please review and fill out carefully! One of our attorneys will be with you shortly!


ESSENTIALS

 

Federal Trademark / Servicemark

Search & Attorney Opinion

 

$275.00
+gov filing fee

 

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


file now!
A search of the United States Government’s records including Marks that have been registered and are currently pending registration and an opinion as to the results of the search. Up to 3 words – $275. More than 3 words would be $50 per additional word. We strongly recommend you conduct a Trademark or Servicemark Search when proceeding with your registration. A Trademark or Servicemark search helps to uncover a similar Mark in use. Conducting a search also shows your intent to act in good faith, which can be a very important factor should a problem ever arise.

 

Federal Copyright Registration

full or co-authorship

$367.95
+gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


file now!
You went through the grueling creative process and created a masterpiece. Don’t let others steal your artistic vision! Spiegel & Utrera, P.A., has helped numerous clients to register their federal copyright with the U.S. Government. Allow Spiegel & Utrera, P.A. to use its legal understanding to ease you through the federal copyright registration process.

 

Trademark Assignment

change of ownership

$367.95
+gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


file now!
What Happens if the Federal Trademark or Federal Servicemark Owner Changes or Their Name Changes?
During the examination of a pending Federal Trademark application as well as after a Federal Trademark has registered, the owner of a Federal Trademark may change for various reasons. Sometimes Federal Trademark or Servicemark owners transfer their ownership of a Mark to another entity, which is called an Assignment. In addition, some Federal Trademark owners change their names while retaining ownership. In both instances, Federal Trademark owners should record the change of parties or change of name.

 

Federal Trademark or Servicemark Extension

Statement or Allegation of Use Extension

$249.95
+gov filing fee

 

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


file now!
In order to maintain your trademark or servicemark, you must file a sworn statement that the Mark is in commerce or that the there are special circumstances that constitute non-use and not abandonment of the Mark. The owner of the registration must file the sworn statement the end of the sixth year (72 months) after the date of registration of the Mark and at the end of each successive ten year period (120 months) after the date of registration. The sworn statement may be filed one year prior to the filing due date or during a six month grace period immediately after the filing due date.

 

Common Law Search

and Attorney Opinion

$250.00
** full search

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


file now!

A search must be in full. Looking only at U.S. and State Trademark registers is not enough. Trademark rights in the United States arise from use, not registration, and the owner of an unregistered Trademark may be able to enjoin your company’s use. A proper, full common law Trademark search therefore includes trade directories, business name lists, and information databases.

If the search is favorable, the entrepreneur can apply for registration on the principal register for Federal Trademarks with either an intent-to-use application, which requires subsequent filing of proof of actual use, or an actual-use application if the Mark has already been used in interstate commerce.

Sub Chapter S. Corporation

Includes preliminary name search, filing fees, attorney’s fees, corporate resolutions, corporate seal and book, corporate minutes, bylaws, IRS documentation, and stock certificates where applicable.

From

$185.95
+more options available

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Protection

A Subchapter S Corporation, or S Corp, is a special type of corporation in the United States that elects to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to its shareholders for federal tax purposes. This election avoids the double taxation associated with regular corporations. S Corps have limited liability protection like traditional corporations but offer the tax benefits of pass-through entities, making them popular for small businesses.
file now!

FL

NY

CA

NJ

IL

NV

DE

 

Sub Chapter S. Corporation

Includes preliminary name search, filing fees, attorney’s fees, corporate resolutions, corporate seal and book, corporate minutes, bylaws, IRS documentation, and stock certificates where applicable.

From

$185.95
+more options available

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Protection

A Subchapter S Corporation, or S Corp, is a special type of corporation in the United States that elects to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to its shareholders for federal tax purposes. This election avoids the double taxation associated with regular corporations. S Corps have limited liability protection like traditional corporations but offer the tax benefits of pass-through entities, making them popular for small businesses.
file now!

FL

NY

CA

NJ

IL

NV

DE

 

Sub Chapter S. Corporation

Includes preliminary name search, filing fees, attorney’s fees, corporate resolutions, corporate seal and book, corporate minutes, bylaws, IRS documentation, and stock certificates where applicable.

From

$185.95
+more options available

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Protection

A Subchapter S Corporation, or S Corp, is a special type of corporation in the United States that elects to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to its shareholders for federal tax purposes. This election avoids the double taxation associated with regular corporations. S Corps have limited liability protection like traditional corporations but offer the tax benefits of pass-through entities, making them popular for small businesses.
file now!

FL

NY

CA

NJ

IL

NV

DE

 

BUILD
INTENTLY

—PROTECT WISELY & ROBUSTLY

*Did you know 3 out of 5 entrepreneurs fall short in protecting their work?

TRUSTS|WILLS—GENERATIONAL
—FAMILY PROTECTION—BY DESIGN—FORESIGHT —POSTERITY

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way, but with a trust, there’s a secure and timeless legacy.”

Anonymous

Wills and trusts play pivotal roles in safeguarding one’s legacy and ensuring that personal wishes are carried out effectively. A will provides a clear roadmap for the distribution of assets, appointing guardians, and articulating final wishes. On the other hand, trusts offer added layers of protection, facilitating efficient estate management, privacy preservation, and even strategies for minimizing tax liabilities. Together, wills and trusts provide individuals with the peace of mind that their hard-earned assets are directed according to their desires, offering a comprehensive and tailored approach to estate planning.

Contract Consulting

Avoid costly mistakes, always, always, always have any type of Contract/Lease or otherwise legally binding agreement reviewed by an ….read more

GCC & RA

Our firm has what we call the “General Counsel Club”. Select this valuable service at the time of ordering your Trademark or Servicemark ….read more

TM Receipt*

Trademark or Servicemark Packages generally weigh approximately 2 pounds and are available for Pick up at our office or may be….read more

The interplay between state and federal intellectual property (IP) laws in the United States is a complex and multifaceted legal landscape, particularly when it comes to trademark, servicemark, trade dress, and copyright protections. These areas of IP law involve a delicate balance between federal and state regulations, each serving distinct yet interconnected roles

The federal government, through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), grants trademark, servicemark, and copyright registrations. Federal registration provides broad protection and exclusive rights to use a mark nationwide. Once registered, the mark holder can enforce their rights in federal courts.

 

Copyright law is exclusively governed by federal statutes. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required for copyright protection, but it offers several advantages, including the ability to sue for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in federal court. Federal copyright law covers a wide range of creative works, from literary and artistic creations to software and architectural designs.

While states don’t grant copyright protection, they may handle various copyright-related matters. For instance, if there’s a dispute over a copyright contract or an infringement case involving a state entity, these issues might be litigated in state courts. Additionally, some states may have specific copyright laws related to certain types of works, like state-produced materials.

Some states offer their own trademark registration systems, often referred to as “state trademarks” or “servicemarks.” While these registrations confer limited geographical protection within the state, they can be valuable for businesses primarily operating locally. However, state trademark rights are generally subordinate to federal trademark rights.

Some businesses, particularly small or local ones, may opt for state trademark registration. This process typically provides protection limited to the state in which it’s registered. For instance, if a bakery in New York registers its logo as a state trademark, it can protect its rights only within New York’s borders. However, this state-level protection can be valuable for businesses that operate primarily within a specific geographic area.

 

A servicemark, like a trademark, is indeed used to identify and distinguish the source of services rather than physical goods. Servicemarks protect names, logos, or other identifiers associated with services, helping consumers identify the source of those services. The primary difference between trademarks and servicemarks is the type of offering they protect—trademarks are for goods, while servicemarks are for services. The protection and registration process for both, whether at the federal or state level, operate on similar principles of preventing confusion and protecting the brand’s identity in the context of commerce.

Servicemark owners have the legal right to enforce their marks by taking legal action against unauthorized use or infringement. This enforcement can include seeking damages, injunctive relief, or other remedies to protect the servicemark’s integrity.

Note&Compare 

 

$167.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR PROMISE —  YOUR Complete Coverage and Protection


24hrfiling
More Services

A Limited Power of Attorney empowers a designated individual (attorney in fact) for specific tasks, like property transactions or business operations. This focused authority ensures precision in actions. Certain entities prefer special power of attorney for its specificity, and we can assist in crafting this crucial document for $167.95.

Read more!

 

$242.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


24hrfiling
More Services
A Durable Limited Power of Attorney allows someone to act in your stead for a specific purpose or purposes, such as to purchase a specific property, execute a certain property, or operate a particular business. Thus, the limited power of attorney, as its name implies, restricts the actions of the attorney in fact to a particular chosen purpose.
Read more!

 

$289.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


24hrfiling
More Services
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

$289.95

OUR GOAL—YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding

A mere innocent choice won’t suffice. Registering only at the state or federal level isn’t enough; common law searches are essential. Corporate name reservation doesn’t protect from trademark infringement.

A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

Entrepreneurs should choose three distinct marks and conduct thorough trademark searches to avoid infringement issues. A mere innocent choice won’t suffice. Registering only at the state or federal level isn’t enough; common law searches are essential. Corporate name reservation doesn’t protect from trademark infringement. Once cleared, use the TM or SM symbol. Consider international registration when expanding. Conduct a trademark search to demonstrate good faith.

1 Maiden Lane
5th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Toll Free: (800) 576-1100
(212) 962-1000
Fax: (212) 964-5600
Nicolas Spigner, Esq.
Managing Attorney

642 Broad St., Suite 1B
Clifton, NJ 07013
Toll Free: (888) 336-8400
(973) 473-2000
Fax: (973) 778-2900
Sandy A. Adelstein
Managing Attorney

9 East Loockerman Street
Suite 202
Dover, DE 19901
Toll Free: (888) 641-3800
(302) 744-9800
Fax: (302) 674-2100
Courtney Riordan, Esq.
Managing Attorney

2545 Chandler Avenue
Suite 4
Las Vegas, NV 89120
Toll Free: (888) 530 4500
(702) 364 2200
Fax: (702) 458 2100
Joel S. Beck, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Continental Office Plaza, Suite L12
2340 Des Plaines River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Toll Free: (888) 514-9800
(312) 443-1500
Fax: (312) 443-8900
Michael C. Welchko, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Unlimited Legal & Business Advice
LEARN MORE!
Toll Free: 1 (800) 734 – 9900
Fax: 1 (800) 520 – 7800
ClubAssist@AmeriLawyer.com
Natalia Utrera, Esq.,
Managing Attorney

File&Safeguard TODAY

 

$289.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Floridafiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$232.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Georgiafiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$289.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Californiafiling

A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$289.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Nevadafiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$267.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


New Yorkfiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$252.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Delawarefiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$267.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


New Jerseyfiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$227.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Illinoisfiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

The interplay between state and federal intellectual property (IP) laws in the United States is a complex and multifaceted legal landscape, particularly when it comes to trademark, servicemark, trade dress, and copyright protections. These areas of IP law involve a delicate balance between federal and state regulations, each serving distinct yet interconnected roles

The federal government, through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), grants trademark, servicemark, and copyright registrations. Federal registration provides broad protection and exclusive rights to use a mark nationwide. Once registered, the mark holder can enforce their rights in federal courts.

 

Copyright law is exclusively governed by federal statutes. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required for copyright protection, but it offers several advantages, including the ability to sue for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in federal court. Federal copyright law covers a wide range of creative works, from literary and artistic creations to software and architectural designs.

While states don’t grant copyright protection, they may handle various copyright-related matters. For instance, if there’s a dispute over a copyright contract or an infringement case involving a state entity, these issues might be litigated in state courts. Additionally, some states may have specific copyright laws related to certain types of works, like state-produced materials.

Some states offer their own trademark registration systems, often referred to as “state trademarks” or “servicemarks.” While these registrations confer limited geographical protection within the state, they can be valuable for businesses primarily operating locally. However, state trademark rights are generally subordinate to federal trademark rights.

Some businesses, particularly small or local ones, may opt for state trademark registration. This process typically provides protection limited to the state in which it’s registered. For instance, if a bakery in New York registers its logo as a state trademark, it can protect its rights only within New York’s borders. However, this state-level protection can be valuable for businesses that operate primarily within a specific geographic area.

 

A servicemark, like a trademark, is indeed used to identify and distinguish the source of services rather than physical goods. Servicemarks protect names, logos, or other identifiers associated with services, helping consumers identify the source of those services. The primary difference between trademarks and servicemarks is the type of offering they protect—trademarks are for goods, while servicemarks are for services. The protection and registration process for both, whether at the federal or state level, operate on similar principles of preventing confusion and protecting the brand’s identity in the context of commerce.

Servicemark owners have the legal right to enforce their marks by taking legal action against unauthorized use or infringement. This enforcement can include seeking damages, injunctive relief, or other remedies to protect the servicemark’s integrity.

$289.95

OUR GOAL—YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding

A mere innocent choice won’t suffice. Registering only at the state or federal level isn’t enough; common law searches are essential. Corporate name reservation doesn’t protect from trademark infringement.

A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

Entrepreneurs should choose three distinct marks and conduct thorough trademark searches to avoid infringement issues. A mere innocent choice won’t suffice. Registering only at the state or federal level isn’t enough; common law searches are essential. Corporate name reservation doesn’t protect from trademark infringement. Once cleared, use the TM or SM symbol. Consider international registration when expanding. Conduct a trademark search to demonstrate good faith.

1 Maiden Lane
5th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Toll Free: (800) 576-1100
(212) 962-1000
Fax: (212) 964-5600
Nicolas Spigner, Esq.
Managing Attorney

642 Broad St., Suite 1B
Clifton, NJ 07013
Toll Free: (888) 336-8400
(973) 473-2000
Fax: (973) 778-2900
Sandy A. Adelstein
Managing Attorney

9 East Loockerman Street
Suite 202
Dover, DE 19901
Toll Free: (888) 641-3800
(302) 744-9800
Fax: (302) 674-2100
Courtney Riordan, Esq.
Managing Attorney

2545 Chandler Avenue
Suite 4
Las Vegas, NV 89120
Toll Free: (888) 530 4500
(702) 364 2200
Fax: (702) 458 2100
Joel S. Beck, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Continental Office Plaza, Suite L12
2340 Des Plaines River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Toll Free: (888) 514-9800
(312) 443-1500
Fax: (312) 443-8900
Michael C. Welchko, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Unlimited Legal & Business Advice
LEARN MORE!
Toll Free: 1 (800) 734 – 9900
Fax: 1 (800) 520 – 7800
ClubAssist@AmeriLawyer.com
Natalia Utrera, Esq.,
Managing Attorney

SPIEGEL & UTRERA, P.A.

LAWYERS

Here for you through & through

Please review and fill out carefully! One of our attorneys will be with you shortly!


Individual Living Trust

Enables seamless asset transfer, avoiding probate hassles and ensuring privacy for individuals and their beneficiaries..

$499.95
+more options available

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Protection

An Individual Living Trust offers probate avoidance, control, and privacy in asset distribution during and after one’s lifetime, providing flexibility, ease of administration, and protection from creditors.
file now!

Why consider an Individual Living Trust?

The primary reasons to consider using an Individual Living Trust:

  • Avoiding probate: What does that mean? If an estate has to go through probate, the court determines what assets are part of the estate, the court marshals the assets of the estate, and then the court disposes of the assets in accordance with the Last Will and Testament or as provided in the state statutes. Such a probate process can be quite lengthy and expensive. With the Individual Living Trust, Probate is avoided because the Trust assets are owned by the Trust rather than the individual decedent.
  • Isolating Liability: Using multiple Individual Living Trusts for different family members, you can avoid spillover of liability to other family members. For example, Mother Smith, the matriarch of the Smith Family, sets up one trust for Daughter Smith and one trust for Son Smith, because she knows that the local police are staking out Daughter Smith’s Botox shop. The Internal Revenue Service is upset that Son Smith hasn’t filed his tax return since 1993. By isolating liability and using multiple Individual Living Trusts, Daughter and Son Smith’s issues won’t spillover and affect each other.

Joint Living Trust

Enables seamless asset transfer, avoiding probate hassles and ensuring privacy for individuals and their beneficiaries..

$599.95
+more options available

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Protection

Joint Living Trusts offer couples a flexible and efficient way to manage and distribute shared assets. By jointly establishing the trust, they can streamline the estate transfer process, avoid probate, and maintain privacy. This versatile estate planning tool allows for modifications during the couple’s lifetime, providing a strategic approach to managing shared financial affairs.
file now!
Why consider a Joint Living Trust?

 

  • Probate Avoidance: Joint Revocable Living Trusts effectively skip the probate process, resulting in significant time and cost savings. This is achieved by placing assets under the ownership of the trust, preventing the need for court intervention.
  • Liability Isolation: When multiple Joint Revocable Living Trusts are utilized for distinct family members, a protective barrier is established. This shields each family member from the legal issues and liabilities of others. For instance, a trust for Daughter Smith and a separate trust for Son Smith ensure that their respective legal matters remain independent.
  • Administration Ease: Joint Revocable Living Trusts offer streamlined administration, particularly concerning real estate. The trust structure facilitates the smooth transfer of real estate assets without incurring the costs associated with probate.
  • Revocability: The flexibility of revocability is a key feature. Individuals can make changes to the trust document while they are still alive and competent. This flexibility ensures that the trust remains aligned with evolving circumstances and preferences.
  • Privacy Preservation: Unlike the public exposure associated with a Last Will and Testament during the probate process, Joint Revocable Living Trusts provide a veil of privacy. The transfer of personal assets is kept confidential within the parameters of the trust document, shielding these details from public scrutiny.
  • Creditor Protection: Joint Revocable Living Trusts act as a shield against creditor claims. Beneficiary interests in the trust are protected, and creditors are unable to access these interests until actual distribution occurs, safeguarding the beneficiary’s money or assets.

A/B or Marital Exemption Trust

Marital Exemption A/B Revocable Trusts offer tax benefits for married couples, preserving assets and providing flexibility in estate planning while avoiding probate.

$699.95
+more options available

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Protection

An Individual Living Trust offers probate avoidance, control, and privacy in asset distribution during and after one’s lifetime, providing flexibility, ease of administration, and protection from creditors.
file now!
Why an A/B or Marital Exemption Trust?

  • Avoiding Probate: With this trust, assets are owned by the Trust, bypassing the lengthy and expensive probate process.
  • Marital Exemption: Offers tax benefits for married couples, preserving a $2,000,000 tax exemption for each spouse and ensuring tax-free transfers to beneficiaries.
  • Isolating Liability: Multiple trusts for different family members prevent liability spillover, protecting assets from individual legal issues.
  • Ease of Administration: Real estate in the Trust avoids probate costs unless distribution to the decedent’s estate is required.
  • Revocability: Allows flexibility to modify the Trust document while the individual is alive and competent.
  • Privacy Preservation: Keeps personal asset transfers private, avoiding exposure through the probate process.
  • Checkbook Control: Provides control over beneficiaries’ spending with limitations on distributions for specific purposes.
  • Management After Death: Enables wealth accumulation for multiple generations under a chosen successor trustee.
  • Creditor Protection: Safeguards beneficiaries’ interests by preventing creditors from attaching Trust assets before distribution.

Copy That!

Copyrights can protect originators of both designs and written….more

Trademark Services

In order to maintain your trademark or servicemark, you must file ….more

IP in Brief

Federal Trademark law was enacted after the Civil War in 1870. It came as a….more

Your Trust Matters To Us!

A trust is a legal arrangement designed to manage assets efficiently, where a trustee oversees and administers the assets for the benefit of specified beneficiaries. This arrangement allows for greater control, flexibility, and privacy in the distribution of assets, often extending beyond the individual’s lifetime. The trustee is tasked with adhering to the terms outlined in the trust document, ensuring the wishes of the trust’s creator, known as the grantor, are fulfilled.

In contrast, a last will and testament serves as a critical component of an individual’s estate planning. This legal document provides explicit instructions on how the individual’s assets and possessions should be distributed upon their death. It is a vital tool for avoiding potential conflicts and uncertainties that may arise in the absence of clear directives.

Having both a trust and a will is pivotal for a well-rounded estate plan. A trust facilitates the seamless transition and management of assets during the grantor’s lifetime and beyond, offering a degree of continuity and control. Meanwhile, a will acts as a final and legally binding expression of the individual’s intentions, ensuring that their wishes are respected and followed.

Together, these instruments offer a comprehensive strategy for managing and distributing assets, addressing financial, familial, and legal considerations. This dual approach helps individuals navigate the complexities of estate planning, providing a robust framework for the orderly transfer of assets and the protection of beneficiaries.

CARE&SUCCESSION—THE PRESENT
—THE FUTURE—STRATEGIC—RESPONSIBILITIES —ORDERLY

Critical Components: health care directives and succession planning. Advanced Health Care Directives enable individuals to express medical preferences and designate representatives for decision-making during incapacity. Simultaneously, succession planning orchestrates asset transfer through wills, trusts (including FLPs and LLCs), power of attorney, living wills, and tax planning. This ensures individuals manage a seamless transition of their legacy to successive generations.

“Legal planning shapes care and succession, a meticulous artistry weaving compassion and continuity. Documents echo a tale of preparation, where care and legacy converge in life’s canvas.”

Key Instruments:

  • Wills and Testaments: Outline asset distribution and appoint guardianship.
  • Trusts (e.g., FLPs, LLCs): Manage and transfer family wealth.
  • Power of Attorney: Grant authority for financial and legal matters.
  • Living Wills: Provide guidance on end-of-life care preferences.
  • Tax Planning Strategies: Minimize tax implications for heirs.

Contract Consulting

Avoid costly mistakes, always, always, always have any type of Contract/Lease or otherwise legally binding agreement reviewed by an ….read more

GCC & RA

Our firm has what we call the “General Counsel Club”. Select this valuable service at the time of ordering your Trademark or Servicemark ….read more

TM Receipt*

Trademark or Servicemark Packages generally weigh approximately 2 pounds and are available for Pick up at our office or may be….read more

Gifts!
+state gov filing fee

—  ARE THEY your strategic game changer?


24hrfiling
More Services

In addition to managing your estate through probate proceedings, another essential aspect of effective estate planning involves strategically utilizing tax-excluded gifts to reduce the overall size of your taxable estate. It is advantageous to make gifts within the annual exclusion for the calendar year, which can include covering tuition or medical expenses for someone (leveraging the educational and medical exclusions). Furthermore, gifts to your spouse and contributions to a political organization for its use are typically non-taxable. By incorporating these strategic gifting practices, you not only decrease your taxable estate but also navigate legal avenues that allow for tax-excluded transfers, contributing to a comprehensive and tax-efficient estate plan.

Read more!
Summary Probate

Many states offer expedited probate for small estates, streamlining the process for heirs to acquire the deceased’s property, provided specific conditions are met. This allows for a quicker and less costly administration, even if some property remains outside a trust.

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Protection

Probate proceedings are legal processes that validate and execute the terms of a deceased person’s will, ensuring the orderly distribution of their assets and resolution of outstanding debts. This often involves court supervision, notifying heirs, and addressing any disputes or claims against the estate.
file now!
California (CA): California has a simplified probate process for estates valued under $166,250, allowing for a streamlined procedure. For larger estates, the formal probate process involves filing a petition, notifying heirs and creditors, and ultimately distributing assets under court supervision.
Delaware (DE): Delaware’s probate process is generally efficient. Executors file a petition, notify heirs, and manage the estate’s inventory. The court oversees the proceedings, ensuring debts are paid, and remaining assets are distributed to heirs.
Florida (FL): Florida offers a simplified process for small estates and a formal probate process for larger ones. The formal process involves filing a petition, notifying heirs and creditors, managing the estate, and distributing assets under court supervision.
Illinois (IL): Illinois has an independent administration process that allows for more flexibility and less court supervision if specified in the will. Otherwise, the executor follows a formal probate process, filing a petition, notifying heirs, and distributing assets under court supervision.
Nevada (NV): Nevada’s probate process involves filing a petition, notifying heirs and creditors, and managing the estate under court supervision. The state allows for simplified procedures for small estates.
New York (NY): New York’s probate process involves filing a petition, notifying heirs, and managing the estate under court supervision. The state allows for simplified procedures for smaller estates and offers an option for probate avoidance through the use of trusts.

FL

NY

CA

NJ

IL

NV

DE

 

$767.95
+state gov filing fee

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A private annuity is a financial arrangement where an individual (the annuitant) transfers ownership of an asset, such as real estate or securities, to another party (usually a family member or a trust) in exchange for a promise to receive a series of periodic payments for the remainder of their life. The annuitant becomes the recipient of these payments, which are typically fixed amounts determined at the outset.

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This strategy serves as a method of transferring wealth while potentially minimizing gift or estate taxes. The annuity payments continue until the annuitant’s death, at which point the asset is retained by the transferee. Private annuities involve complex legal and tax considerations, and professional advice is crucial to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and to optimize the financial outcomes for both parties involved.

 


Do you have elderly loved ones? —  Ensure they are not mistreated.


24hrfiling
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Elder abuse encompasses various forms, including physical harm (such as striking, pushing, and neglect), sexual misconduct, emotional abuse, abandonment, and financial exploitation. This maltreatment can occur in domestic settings, involving family or caregivers, as well as within institutional environments like nursing homes. Perpetrators often have a legal obligation to provide care, making legal representation crucial. Laws addressing elder abuse vary by state, emphasizing the importance of consulting with an attorney familiar with the elder’s state of residence. Spiegel & Utrera, P.A. is poised to assist in advocating for your loved one and combating elder abuse.
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$289.95

OUR GOAL—YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding

A mere innocent choice won’t suffice. Registering only at the state or federal level isn’t enough; common law searches are essential. Corporate name reservation doesn’t protect from trademark infringement.

A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

Entrepreneurs should choose three distinct marks and conduct thorough trademark searches to avoid infringement issues. A mere innocent choice won’t suffice. Registering only at the state or federal level isn’t enough; common law searches are essential. Corporate name reservation doesn’t protect from trademark infringement. Once cleared, use the TM or SM symbol. Consider international registration when expanding. Conduct a trademark search to demonstrate good faith.

1 Maiden Lane
5th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Toll Free: (800) 576-1100
(212) 962-1000
Fax: (212) 964-5600
Nicolas Spigner, Esq.
Managing Attorney

642 Broad St., Suite 1B
Clifton, NJ 07013
Toll Free: (888) 336-8400
(973) 473-2000
Fax: (973) 778-2900
Sandy A. Adelstein
Managing Attorney

9 East Loockerman Street
Suite 202
Dover, DE 19901
Toll Free: (888) 641-3800
(302) 744-9800
Fax: (302) 674-2100
Courtney Riordan, Esq.
Managing Attorney

2545 Chandler Avenue
Suite 4
Las Vegas, NV 89120
Toll Free: (888) 530 4500
(702) 364 2200
Fax: (702) 458 2100
Joel S. Beck, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Continental Office Plaza, Suite L12
2340 Des Plaines River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Toll Free: (888) 514-9800
(312) 443-1500
Fax: (312) 443-8900
Michael C. Welchko, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Unlimited Legal & Business Advice
LEARN MORE!
Toll Free: 1 (800) 734 – 9900
Fax: 1 (800) 520 – 7800
ClubAssist@AmeriLawyer.com
Natalia Utrera, Esq.,
Managing Attorney

The interplay between state and federal intellectual property (IP) laws in the United States is a complex and multifaceted legal landscape, particularly when it comes to trademark, servicemark, trade dress, and copyright protections. These areas of IP law involve a delicate balance between federal and state regulations, each serving distinct yet interconnected roles

The federal government, through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), grants trademark, servicemark, and copyright registrations. Federal registration provides broad protection and exclusive rights to use a mark nationwide. Once registered, the mark holder can enforce their rights in federal courts.

 

Copyright law is exclusively governed by federal statutes. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required for copyright protection, but it offers several advantages, including the ability to sue for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in federal court. Federal copyright law covers a wide range of creative works, from literary and artistic creations to software and architectural designs.

While states don’t grant copyright protection, they may handle various copyright-related matters. For instance, if there’s a dispute over a copyright contract or an infringement case involving a state entity, these issues might be litigated in state courts. Additionally, some states may have specific copyright laws related to certain types of works, like state-produced materials.

Some states offer their own trademark registration systems, often referred to as “state trademarks” or “servicemarks.” While these registrations confer limited geographical protection within the state, they can be valuable for businesses primarily operating locally. However, state trademark rights are generally subordinate to federal trademark rights.

Some businesses, particularly small or local ones, may opt for state trademark registration. This process typically provides protection limited to the state in which it’s registered. For instance, if a bakery in New York registers its logo as a state trademark, it can protect its rights only within New York’s borders. However, this state-level protection can be valuable for businesses that operate primarily within a specific geographic area.

 

A servicemark, like a trademark, is indeed used to identify and distinguish the source of services rather than physical goods. Servicemarks protect names, logos, or other identifiers associated with services, helping consumers identify the source of those services. The primary difference between trademarks and servicemarks is the type of offering they protect—trademarks are for goods, while servicemarks are for services. The protection and registration process for both, whether at the federal or state level, operate on similar principles of preventing confusion and protecting the brand’s identity in the context of commerce.

Servicemark owners have the legal right to enforce their marks by taking legal action against unauthorized use or infringement. This enforcement can include seeking damages, injunctive relief, or other remedies to protect the servicemark’s integrity.

Life&Legacy 

 

File&Safeguard TODAY

 

$289.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Floridafiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$232.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Georgiafiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$289.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Californiafiling

A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$289.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Nevadafiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$267.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


New Yorkfiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$252.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Delawarefiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$267.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


New Jerseyfiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

 

$227.95
+state gov filing fee

OUR GOAL —  YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding


Illinoisfiling
A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

The interplay between state and federal intellectual property (IP) laws in the United States is a complex and multifaceted legal landscape, particularly when it comes to trademark, servicemark, trade dress, and copyright protections. These areas of IP law involve a delicate balance between federal and state regulations, each serving distinct yet interconnected roles

The federal government, through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), grants trademark, servicemark, and copyright registrations. Federal registration provides broad protection and exclusive rights to use a mark nationwide. Once registered, the mark holder can enforce their rights in federal courts.

 

Copyright law is exclusively governed by federal statutes. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required for copyright protection, but it offers several advantages, including the ability to sue for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in federal court. Federal copyright law covers a wide range of creative works, from literary and artistic creations to software and architectural designs.

While states don’t grant copyright protection, they may handle various copyright-related matters. For instance, if there’s a dispute over a copyright contract or an infringement case involving a state entity, these issues might be litigated in state courts. Additionally, some states may have specific copyright laws related to certain types of works, like state-produced materials.

Some states offer their own trademark registration systems, often referred to as “state trademarks” or “servicemarks.” While these registrations confer limited geographical protection within the state, they can be valuable for businesses primarily operating locally. However, state trademark rights are generally subordinate to federal trademark rights.

Some businesses, particularly small or local ones, may opt for state trademark registration. This process typically provides protection limited to the state in which it’s registered. For instance, if a bakery in New York registers its logo as a state trademark, it can protect its rights only within New York’s borders. However, this state-level protection can be valuable for businesses that operate primarily within a specific geographic area.

 

A servicemark, like a trademark, is indeed used to identify and distinguish the source of services rather than physical goods. Servicemarks protect names, logos, or other identifiers associated with services, helping consumers identify the source of those services. The primary difference between trademarks and servicemarks is the type of offering they protect—trademarks are for goods, while servicemarks are for services. The protection and registration process for both, whether at the federal or state level, operate on similar principles of preventing confusion and protecting the brand’s identity in the context of commerce.

Servicemark owners have the legal right to enforce their marks by taking legal action against unauthorized use or infringement. This enforcement can include seeking damages, injunctive relief, or other remedies to protect the servicemark’s integrity.

$289.95

OUR GOAL—YOUR Complete Satisfaction and Understanding

A mere innocent choice won’t suffice. Registering only at the state or federal level isn’t enough; common law searches are essential. Corporate name reservation doesn’t protect from trademark infringement.

A distinctive Mark that customers associate with your products or services is very valuable. Registering your state Trademark or Servicemark will prevent copycats from confusing customers and damaging your reputation.

Read more!

 

Entrepreneurs should choose three distinct marks and conduct thorough trademark searches to avoid infringement issues. A mere innocent choice won’t suffice. Registering only at the state or federal level isn’t enough; common law searches are essential. Corporate name reservation doesn’t protect from trademark infringement. Once cleared, use the TM or SM symbol. Consider international registration when expanding. Conduct a trademark search to demonstrate good faith.

1 Maiden Lane
5th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Toll Free: (800) 576-1100
(212) 962-1000
Fax: (212) 964-5600
Nicolas Spigner, Esq.
Managing Attorney

642 Broad St., Suite 1B
Clifton, NJ 07013
Toll Free: (888) 336-8400
(973) 473-2000
Fax: (973) 778-2900
Sandy A. Adelstein
Managing Attorney

9 East Loockerman Street
Suite 202
Dover, DE 19901
Toll Free: (888) 641-3800
(302) 744-9800
Fax: (302) 674-2100
Courtney Riordan, Esq.
Managing Attorney

2545 Chandler Avenue
Suite 4
Las Vegas, NV 89120
Toll Free: (888) 530 4500
(702) 364 2200
Fax: (702) 458 2100
Joel S. Beck, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Continental Office Plaza, Suite L12
2340 Des Plaines River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Toll Free: (888) 514-9800
(312) 443-1500
Fax: (312) 443-8900
Michael C. Welchko, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Unlimited Legal & Business Advice
LEARN MORE!
Toll Free: 1 (800) 734 – 9900
Fax: 1 (800) 520 – 7800
ClubAssist@AmeriLawyer.com
Natalia Utrera, Esq.,
Managing Attorney

SPIEGEL & UTRERA, P.A.

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