We're Closing. Thank You.

Doug Cook is retiring and Steve Cook has moved to an in-house counsel position. As such, we are no longer accepting new clients. Thank you.

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.

Bernie Sanders’ Estate Tax Plan

April 14, 2016

The Sanders bill would exempt the first $3.5 million on an individual’s estate from estate tax and would include a maximum marginal tax rate of 65%. Read More»

Can The FBI Make Apple Rewrite iOS?

March 18, 2016

The president  —  our Law Professor in Chief  — has to know the DOJ is on shaky ground. He’s probably got this rule of statutory construction rolling around in his mind as he watches college basketball this week: Specific statutes trump general ones. Generalia specialibus non derogant. Read More»

4 Federal Trademark Benefits

January 10, 2016

One of the most common questions people ask trademark attorneys is: Why should I apply for federal trademark registration — what benefits does it provide? Read More»

Passing Values, Not Just Money, Via Incentive Trusts

November 2, 2015

It's one of the deepest felt concerns. How can you pass your values onto your children and grandchildren even if you pass away earlier than you expect? Read More»

Kids Off to College? It Might Be Time for an Estate Plan Update

September 28, 2015

Did you recently send one or more of your kids off to college? If so, it might be time for an estate plan update in order to protect both them and you. Read More»

What Happens If You Die Without A Will?

August 31, 2015

When it comes to our to do lists, most people have penciled in "make a will" or "make an estate plan" right at the very bottom. Read More»

State Death Tax Is A Killer?

July 31, 2015

How does an estate tax imposed by an individual state, in addition to the federal estate tax, affect that state? Should the states that still impose a state estate tax follow the growing number of states that are abolishing their state estate taxes? Read More»

LLC Agreement Provisions Create Non-Probate Interest

June 15, 2015

A Florida District Court of Appeal recently held that the provisions of a particular LLC’s operating agreement restricted the transfer of a decedent’s ownership interest in an LLC at death. Read More»

Proposed 1031 Exchange Changes

May 13, 2015

The Obama Administration proposes to limit the amount of capital gain deferred under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code from the exchange of real property to $1,000,000 (indexed for inflation) per taxpayer per taxable year. Read More»

Estate Plan Privacy

April 1, 2015

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of a revocable "living" trust is the privacy that it can provide. If you're not familiar the concept of  a living trust, it is a legal document often used in estate planning, either in conjunction with, or instead of, a will to more efficiently administer of a person's or couple's estate by avoiding a judicial proceeding called probate Read More»