by Anthony G. Boone

The purpose of due diligence in the acquisition of licensing of intellectual property assets (namely patents and copyrights) is to give a buyer an opportunity to investigate and evaluate the asset concerned in some detail. More particularly, due diligence involving patens and copyrights can present ownership issues if the author/inventor is or was married and resides in a community property state. Whatever level of diligence is required for the particular transaction, the buyer should consider inquiring as to the current and past marital status of the inventor/author of the intellectual property if the inventor/author is either the seller; a direct owner of the seller; or in some cases, even a past owner of the intellectual property.


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by Kevin C. Curry

On February 16, 2007, the IRS issued a formal ruling approving a sale of a life insurance policy to a grantor trust. This ruling is a rare formal ruling by the IRS in the grantor trust area. Grantor trusts, or intentionally defective grantor trusts, are used often in a variety of estate planning situations. Grantor trusts are typically used in estate planning situations where the parties want the income of the trust to be taxed to the grantor of the trust (the person who set up the trust) or where they want the grantor to be deemed to be the owner of the trust property for income tax purposes.


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The need for “estate planning” is often dismissed by individuals as being a luxury which can only be utilized by the wealthy. However, anyone who owns any property has need for at least some knowledge of estate planning in order to determine who will receive his or her property at the time of death. The term “estate planning” is not restricted to planning or drafting of wills for individuals who will have a federal estate tax consequence at death. “Estate planning”, when used in its broadest sense, is necessary for the husband and wife who want to leave as much as they can to their surviving spouse for that surviving spouse’s economic well-being and protection. It is also necessary for the young husband and wife who have several children, a house with a large mortgage, a small savings, and life insurance. Estate planning is also necessary for the single individual with no children who desires to distribute his or her property in a manner different from the statutory course. Do not let the term “estate planning” fool you. It applies to each of us in some form or fashion.
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By Carey J. Messina

So you’ve built a successful business that provides you a good salary and employment for several of your children. Things are going fine, but you are worried about what happens to the business when you retire in a few years, or die. What are you going to do? (i) sell to that “national group” for cash and a nice consulting arrangement; (ii) sell to several loyal employees who have helped grow the business, but have not participated in management; or (iii) transfer the business to the children working in the business.
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By Kevin C. Curry

In November 2004, the Louisiana voters approved a new Constitutional Amendment to revise Louisiana’s Homestead exemption law for ad valorem tax purposes. While this new law is helpful in clarifying a number of issues, it does create a trap for the unwary. Specifically, the new law has been interpreted to deny the homestead exemption for individuals who transfer their homes into revocable trusts (also known as living trusts).
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