Don’t Make This Mistake With Digital Assets

As virtual currencies like Bitcoins become more popular, even the IRS has recognized the possible value in these assets. As the owner of any kind of digital asset, you should also be aware of how to properly include these in your estate plan. Along with this goes avoiding one of the most common mistakes made with digital assets: failing to tell your beneficiaries about them.

Other kinds of assets, like stocks, bonds, real estate, and retirement plans have been part of the estate planning arena for so long that planning attorneys and trustee administrators are well versed in how to deal with them, even when beneficiaries are not entirely clear of their existence or worth. They also tend to be easier to hunt down if necessary, but the virtual world can be complex and heavily password protected.


With digital assets, it’s different. Unless somebody knows you’ve got these assets, it’s very likely that none of your heirs will ever gain access to them. It’s most likely that this wasn’t what you intended. So make it clear: if you’ve got someone in mind that you would like to take over your digital assets, tell them about it. Better yet, communicate it to your estate planning attorney as well to limit any confusion and to ensure that you have covered all your bases. For a comprehensive estate planning consultation, contact us today by email or via phone at 732-521-9455.

Protecting Your Inventions with a Patent: Recent Change in U.S. Patent Law

According to a recent change in U.S. patent law, specifically the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or AIA, the system has been switched from first-to-invent to first-to file. This revision means that your invention may be at risk if another entity is able to file an application before you with a similar idea or product. A recent article discusses some tips that will help you navigate these new guidelines.

To determine if you have a new invention, you will need to search internationally. During the application process, your invention will be judged against global inventions before you are able to win the patent. You can also consider filing a provisional application rather than a full application, which holds your patent for a year. This translates to a more affordable application fee and less required information. However, it is important to keep in mind that your provisional application should be consistent with future claims. In addition, a full application needs to be submitted within a year from the filing of your provisional application.

Under the new patent law, confidentiality agreements are more important. If you publicly disclose an invention, you have one year to file for a patent or you risk losing your rights to that invention. Finally, if you can qualify as a microentity by having fewer than four patent applications on record, filing fees for a full application will be dramatically reduced.