by SOPHIA BERA on SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
Estate planning? Really?
Yes, really. It’s no one’s favorite topic and can be uncomfortable to think about. No one wants to imagine a worse-case scenario or simply not being here anymore. And it’s really difficult to think about when you’re so young and just revving up to the best years of your life.
But stop and think for a moment: what would happen to your assets if you were to pass away? What would happen to your family, or your loved ones?
- Read more at Genyplanning.com
Small business owners typically don’t have big budgets for legal fees, but there are times when you should turn to a lawyer for advice. In an interview with MSNBC’s JJ Ramberg, Rebecca Geller, the president and CEO of The Geller Law Group, has these four tips for entrepreneurs.
Get your DVRs ready! As many of you know, at the Geller Law Group, we are proud of our business expertise and record of helping entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running. On Sunday, July 20 at 7:30AM, our founding partner, Rebecca Geller, will be appearing on MSNBC’s Your Business with host J.J. Ramberg to discuss some of the key legal concerns facing small businesses as they get started. Be sure to tune in! And way to go, Rebecca!!!
Much ink has been spilled debating and discussing the federal estate tax, but did you know that several states (including Maryland and D.C.) also have an estate tax? And that the threshold for triggering it is frequently far lower than the federal one? Read more about why you may have to do more planning for your estate than you might think.
Happy Tax Day! Did it sneak up on you? Did you get a good refund this year? If so, and before you go spend it on that new big screen TV, consider saving it to set up a will and trust for your family. Email us at email@example.com to find out how to get started.
Today, April 2nd, is Autism Awareness Day. If you have a child or relative with autism or other special needs, and they receive government benefits, you need to plan carefully for their inheritance. Inheritance of money or other property (including real estate) can be treated as increased income, and jeopardize your the individual’s status as a recipient of benefits from the government. There is a solution, however: The Geller Law Group can help you set up a special needs trust. These help to ensure that when you leave items of value to your children and loved ones with special needs, it will not disqualify them from receiving their much-needed public assistance.
If this sounds like your situation and you live in MD/DC/VA/NC, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org by 12:00PM on Friday, April 4, we will offer you a 10% discount on a special needs trust. Please mention this post in your email!
Have you worked hard to create a brand for your blog or your business? If your answer is yes, you need to take the next step to ensure your blog or business is legally protected. It is critical to protect your brand by registering it as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)! Simply owning the domain name is not enough. Never worked with an attorney before? Here’s your chance to get discounted legal services through a law firm that caters to bloggers.
The Geller Law Group is offering ten $100 gift certificates to be used towards trademark registration legal services with The Geller Law Group — so there is no better time to get started on this process. This giveaway will expire on February 14, 2014 and is only available to 10 winners, so act fast! Enter through the link below.
The Geller Law Group is a woman-owned law firm that serves as legal counsel to bloggers, small businesses and budding entrepreneurs. The attorneys at The Geller Law Group are experienced with many of the issues that bloggers face on a daily basis. Our blogging clients include top bloggers such as Honest Toddler, Honest Mom, The Shitastrophy, News to Live By, and Science of Parenthood — to name a few!
The Geller Law Group works with families, small business owners, bloggers, and budding entrepreneurs to provide excellent, affordable legal services.
Are you a Federal Employee who needs to prepare legal documents to care for your family’s future? There is no better time to get started on the process — here is your chance to win a $250 Gift Certificate available to FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ONLY from The Geller Law Group to be used towards creating wills/guardianship documents, trusts, advance medical directives, and legal family documents. If you have a family, it is critical to hire a lawyer to draft comprehensive legal documents to protect your family and your children’s future.
This giveaway will expire on February 14, 2014 and is only available to 10 winners, so act fast! Enter through the link below.
The Geller Law Group is a woman-owned law firm that works with RecGov to help families throughout Virginia, D.C., Maryland and North Carolina to ensure that your family and children will be taken care of financially and physically, no matter what happens. The Geller Law Group strives to make the legal system more accessible and affordable for families, individuals, and small businesses in the DC-area.
Congrats to Let Mommy Sleep for their writeup in the Washington Post yesterday. Good luck with the franchising!
A set of premature twins and a 17-month-old son led Denise Stern to her latest business venture, an overnight service for over-worked, over-tired parents.
Stern, who lives in Haymarket, started Let Mommy Sleep — a company that provides nighttime care for newborns — four years ago. Since then, it has become a $750,000 business with 30 nurses.
Trademarks: One of a Small Business’s Greatest Assets
One of a small business’s greatest assets is its brand. Business owners invest a significant amount of time and money in their name and advertising, but too often they neglect necessary legal protections for their name, logo or slogan. Your name and brand must be protected by taking the critical step of registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
Many small business owners mistakenly believe that they do not need to register for a trademark, because they have rights to the mark simply by registering the business with the state — which is a major problem when another company decides to register the same or similar name with the USPTO! Once another company registers their mark that is similar to yours, they will likely send you a “Cease and Desist” letter, warning you to stop using your mark or business name because you are now in violation of their federally registered trademark. Once this happens, you may be mired in litigation and expensive legal fees for years.
Unfortunately, this is a situation where the party with the deepest pockets, not necessarily the strongest argument, is likely to win. Big companies employ attorneys whose sole job it is to search for and put a stop to small businesses with a similar mark. Even though the other company registered for the mark after you began to use yours or is in another state — their rights may have priority because they registered with USPTO first.
In the alternative, what if you were to find that someone was using your unregistered mark, and you want to stop them? For example, say that another company used your unregistered mark, “Little Black Dress”, which you use for your clothing company, for a slightly racier business? Customers who look you up online might become confused, and they might call the wrong number only to be shocked at your supposed line of business. Because you never registered your mark, you have very little recourse.
Finally, it is rare that a client can successfully register a trademark without legal assistance. We counsel many clients who have tried to register a trademark on their own to save money, and ended up spending twice as much on legal fees for an appeal because the USPTO rejected their application. When applications are denied, the filing fee is not refunded and an appeal is much more costly. It is in your own financial interest to hire a lawyer to help with your trademark search and application from Day 1.
A mark is one of the most valuable assets a small business has. Don’t make the mistake of jeopardizing yours.
If you are interested in registering a trademark for your business, contact us for a free initial phone consultation by sending a quick email to Office@thegellerlawgroup.com.
Trademark Protection Program
Did you know? Even after registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the task of protecting your investment is not entirely finished! As a trademark holder, you have a legal duty to ensure that no one else infringes upon your mark and destroy its uniqueness over time.
As a trademark owner, you are probably receiving promotions selling commercial trademark protection programs — but few include legal assistance like a law firm can offer to help you protect your trademark.
The Geller Law Group can assist you with this undertaking, by closely monitoring new filings and publications of marks that may be confusingly similar to yours, and by notifying you of any findings that may threaten your trademark and brand. If your trademark is infringed upon, we can guide you in recommended steps to protect your mark.
Fees: Credit card payment options are available.
Word: $35/month or $400/year (paid up front).
Logo: $40/month or $450/year (paid up front)
Multiple marks: 10% discount for trademark protection services for 2 or more marks.
How to sign up: Send an email to Office@TheGellerLawGroup.com to sign up for our trademark protection program. If you sign up by December 13, 2013, you will receive 10% off your first month or 5% off the first year (if paid in full upfront).