Protect Your Artwork
As an artist or a photographer, your most valuable assets are your creations. An artist's work can end up on someone else's product, marketing piece, or website, without the artist's permission and without the artist ever earning a royalty. The piece may even have been modified or there might be no credit disclosing who created it. Many artists and photographers feel there is not much they can do to stop that, or … Read More
Not All Trademarks Are Created Equal
When it comes time to choose a name for the new product or service you are launching, it is important to know that not all trademarks are created equal. In addition to the marketing considerations of choosing a brand name, there are also important legal considerations to keep in mind.
Let's consider the example of opening a gas station. If a company opens 50 new gas stations and names each of them, "The Gas … Read More
Was Dumb Starbucks Smart?
Comedian Nathan Fielder created a media stir, and long lines, when he opened a coffee shop called Dumb Starbucks. The establishment was quickly closed down for not having a permit. In the short time that the shop was open, legal commentators everywhere speculated about whether Starbucks would sue for trademark infringement, and if it did, how the case would turn out. The shop looked virtually … Read More
I Received a 1099 from My Home Equity Lender- What Steps do I need to Take?
Tax Consequences of Foreclosure-with a HELOC
It is common for homeowners to have a house that is "upside down", many with first and second mortgages. Houses that were purchased a number of years ago appreciated rapidly in a short period of time and it was easy to pull on the home's equity by securing an equity line of credit. That equity may have been used for many purposes, including home improvements, … Read More
I Received a 1099 from My Lender, Now What?
Tax Consequences of Foreclosure or Short Sale of Personal Residence in Arizona
It is difficult to read any economic news or watch a local TV news program without seeing the prevalence of foreclosures and short sales of personal residences in Arizona. It is not uncommon in today's economic crisis to own a home that was purchased in the last five years that is substantially "upside down". Many … Read More
Estate Tax Laws Warrant Exclusion and Portability in Planning
The new estate laws are challenging to comply with and will require most high net worth individuals to review their existing plan. One of the major issues is how the trust is divided on the death of the first spouse, and who makes certain elections. There are other critical decisions that need to be made to protect assets and minimize or delay estate taxes.
Prior Exclusion and 2013 Change
Estate tax was … Read More
Section 529 Plans - Qualified Tuition Program: College Savings Plans that the IRS Embraces
As higher education costs continue to escalate, parents or grandparents may look to different savings vehicles for their children's college fund. The IRS, under section 529, provides parents with the opportunity for a higher education savings plan.
There are two sets of tax rules for 529 plans (the "Plan"). One relates to the income taxation of the owner and the beneficiary of the Plan, while the … Read More
In a volatile economic climate, such as the current economic downturn, there is a significant increase in litigation cases and bankruptcy filings. When economic times flourish, people focus on acquiring assets and doing "deals". During slower times, people may look for an opportunity to protect their assets from potential creditors' claims. There are planning tools - entity selection, separation of personal and … Read More
When Do I Need a New Will?
You may think you don't need a will because you don't have many assets. However, if you don't have a will, the state could determine who gets your property and even who will take care of your children should both you and your spouse die at the same time. Many changes and events occur during your lifetime and if you have experienced any of the following life events recently, it is a good time to prepare a will or … Read More
Having It, Holding It, & Sharing It
A variety of charitable gifting techniques are available during your lifetime and as part of your estate plan. Depending on your income, or the size of your estate, you may find tax savings so significant after making a charitable gift that the net after tax effect is minimal.
Here is a summary of some of planning ideas which will help you start your charitable gifting program.
Charitable Giving & Taxes
The … Read More