Getting Your Affairs in Order – Wills, Trusts & Estates

Planning your Affairs now can save your family the stress, costly court battles and potential infighting that often occur between family members when one passes away or becomes incapacitated. Assuring that your end-of-life medial decisions, interests and wishes are met now will provide security and assurance that your loved ones are financially secure and your medical desires are met in case you pass away or are no longer able to make your own decisions due to illness or incapacitation.

Consulting with an attorney and legally formalizing your interests can resolve any future disputes which may occur. Even more, choosing an appropriate executor or trustee who knows the difference between your interests and their own and who will work for you to protect your interests is vital. You want to be sure that the assets you’ve worked so hard to gain in your lifetime end up in the right place and do so efficiently and as quickly as possible. By planning ahead you will protect yourself and your heirs from state and third party intervention where your interest are not accounted for in case of your untimely death or incapacitation. For example, a parent may fail to select a legal guardian for their minor children, wherefore the court will be left to decide the fate of your precious children. In the same manner if you fail to name a Health-Care Proxy or Power of Attorney and you fall ill or become incapacitated and are no longer capable of managing your money or your medical care the courts rather than someone you trust may make those decisions for you.

Formalizing your wishes can shield your family from further stress at a time when your loved ones are vulnerable and emotional in the face of tragedy. Additionally, it will protect your Estate from creditors, taxes and other parties whom wish to take a piece of your earnings and assets.

Trust & Estates and Family law is often complex and varies from State to State so no general rule really applies. An attorney who specializes in this area can clarify all the principles related to your jurisdiction because after the death of a loved one the worst thing to think about is how one will cope financially.

Contact Singh Law to consult with an experienced attorney in getting your affairs together today and peace of mind for the future.

Singh Law, led by Principal Seema Singh, specializes in the spectrum of Family Law, Business Law, and Trust & Estate Law. Based in Princeton, N.J., we offer free 15-minute consultations for all clients.

Email us at info@ssinghlaw.com or call us at 609-454-3165 today.

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Resolving Copyright Issues

If you are reading this blog because you are trying to resolve a trademark or copyright issue then the question of whether you need a lawyer shouldn’t be on the table. Rather than address that traditional quandary, we suggest that a lawyer consult for your business is an essential first step particularly if you are launching an independent project or becoming part of a franchise. The whole concept of trademarks in a franchise is another entirely different conversation. Every industry is different but let’s look at a popular industry and the things you can do yourself and where advice of counsel is essential.

Copyright Law:

The general rule on copyrighting intellectual property of a book is whether the book has been in the public domain and when. If the book is published and the copyright date is 1922 or before, then the book contents are considered public domain.

The problem comes for books that fit two characteristics—either the book has been published after 1922 (starting 1923 and onwards) or the work has not been published at all.

For any works published starting 1923, the highlights of copyright criteria are this:

  • If the work is published before 1964 without copyright renewal, it is in the public domain.
  • If the work is published before 1978 in the US without formal copyright notice, it is in the public domain.

And if these two conditions are satisfied (work is copyrighted and was renewed), we now enter the area of copyright law that has many content publishers protesting.

Essentially, the current copyright laws (based on the 1976 Copyright Act and the 1998 copyright extension) mean that any works published after 1922 (that have been copyrighted and renewed) cannot enter the public domain until 2019!

The good news is, if this can be called good news, that 2019 onwards, the public domain will start gaining a year’s worth of creative content every year. Further, the latest trends of the electronic reading industry is creating new reasons why the do-it-yourself approach may be great for the content, but the evolving nature of this business makes it even more important to consult an attorney for the new rights that are evolving in the marketplace.

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