Planning Notes

Via this blog we address fundamental concepts and issues relevant to estate planning law (will, trust, probate, asset protection), business law (LLC), real estate law, & tax law. Published by Douglas K. Cook & Steven W. Cook.

4 Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property

October 8, 2014

In the United States, there are four principal ways in which a person or business can protect intellectual property, however, not all types of protection are available for all property types. Read More»

U.S. Federal Trademark Filings

September 16, 2014

In 2013, more than 300,000 trademarks and service marks were filed across 45 different classes of goods and services with the United States Patent & Trademark ("USPTO"); however, less than 200,000 trademarks were registered by the USPTO office during 2013. Read More»

ALS Association Ice Bucket Challenge Trademark Filing

August 29, 2014

The ALS Association has filed an application to register a federal trademark for "Ice Bucket Challenge", the viral sensation that has swept the nation this summer. Read More»

What is a Family Limited Partnership?

July 30, 2014

A family limited partnership, or FLP, can allow a taxpayer to leverage two federal tax devices in conjunction with a technique known as “discounting” in order to reduce the amount of federal tax imposed at the time of that person’s death. Read More»

The Aereo Decision & Cloud Computing

June 27, 2014

In American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that Aereo's service, which converts and subsequently (re)transmits over-the-air television broadcasts in near real time to Aereo's customers via the internet, effectively constitutes "transmitting performances of copyrighted works to the public", which in turn requires Aereo to pay over-the-air broadcasters a fee for doing so, pursuant to the Copyright Act. Read More»

Congressional Committee Approves Permanent Bonus Depreciation & Charity Bills

May 30, 2014

The House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation to make bonus depreciation permanent, as well as a number of tax measures related to charitable giving. Read More»

Substantial Presence Test & Closer Connection Exception

April 28, 2014

Those people who would otherwise be characterized as resident aliens pursuant to the Substantial Presence Test, who think they qualify for the Closer Connection exception, can file Form 8840 with the I.R.S. Read More»

IRS: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

March 25, 2014

Today, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issued Notice 2014-21 regarding some federal tax prinicples associated with transactions utlizing virtual currency, such as Bitcoin. Read More»

What Is An Advance Healthcare Directive?

February 17, 2014

An advance healthcare directive, such as a living will, is a legal document that sets forth a person’s end-of-life healthcare treatment desires. Read More»

Obama Announces MyRA Retirement Accounts

January 31, 2014

On Wednesday, Presdient Obama signed an executive order directing the U.S. Department of the Treatury to create a new type of retirement saving account called a "MyRA". Read More»