Yours, mine & ours = Family. But who raises the kids if somethings happens to us?

The phrase “yours, mine and ours” usually refers to the bringing together of children from two different families and growing the family with additional children. Essentially the end result is a household with a number of kids from different relationships. Usual circumstances include those where each spouse has children from previous relationships or marriages and then the newly formed couple have more children.  With these types of family structures, there are usually 2, 3, 4 or even more adults considering themselves parents to a set of kids.

Here’s an example: Sarah (age 21) marries Sam (age 21). They have Sammy Jr. soon after marriage. Sarah remarries five years later to Dave who has a three year old (Davy Jr,) from a previous marriage, and Sam remarries five years later to Diana who go on to have their own kids. Dave and Sarah, now your next door neighbors, care for Sammy Jr. (now age 5), Davy Jr., and together they have their own child Savannah (age 1). In this example, if your neighbors Dave and Sarah jointly pass away in a car accident a year later, who cares for baby Sammy Jr. , baby Davy Jr., and baby Savannah? It’s not a riddle. It’s a common occurrence!

In this scenario, the answer depends on written agreements between Sarah, Dave, Sam and Diana. That is of course assuming there is some sort of agreement. If nothing is in writing, the State of California will default answers for you concerning the care of your children.  Now, let’s add a few variables to this potentially realistic hypothetical. What if Sam and Diana suffer severe marital problems? What if Dave’s parents are elderly with medical problems too strong to handle children in the household? What if all of them want financial and physical custody of the kids?

I think you’re getting the idea. Preparing guardian nominations through a Will or a Revocable Living Trust is important for Sarah, Dave, Sam and Diana. Everyone has to be on the same page to ensure the well-being of everyone’s kids. Through proper guardianship nominations as part of your estate planning, you could avoid these future uncertainties once you pass away.

Parents, more than anyone else should hold discussions about guardianship nomination and discuss document planning soon after having their children. However,  other persons may also be interested in having the parents leave their desired plans in writing. Parents’ siblings, the parents’ parents (the two sets of grandparents), the parents’ friends and sometimes even the parents’ neighbors should all have this conversation with the parents to make sure there is proper planning set.

As a reminder, in estate planning, nominations for guardianship are set. However, those nominated may or may not wind up being the best fit for the children. Without any nominations, the California system will determine the welfare and future of the kids.

If you’re a soon-to-be parent of if you are already parents, start your planning now, not later. If you’re in a situation where your  household kids are comprised of “yours, mine & ours,” you are greatly encouraged to start these discussions. Here are a few factors that affect the family planning:

  • who the natural parents are
  • whether any children are adopted legally by the new step parent
  • step parent situations
  • parents with credit problems
  • parents with criminal histories
  • many more variables affect the nomination planning
  • physical custody and financial custody of the kids
  • parties that may be interested in caring for your kids

Points to consider before and after registering a business name or domain name

When a person or set persons start a new business venture, it is an exciting time when you just want to get to work already. I call this the “honeymoon stage” of business. Everyone is collaborating well, ideas are flowing smoothly and depending on your personality, you either start the work immediately because you are motivated and eager, or you take a step back to analyze and consider what needs to get done first.  It is all a happy period of time where you can’t wait to move forward and grow. No one likes to consider the bad stuff that may come about later such as legal problems. Be wise, be that person that does consider such issues to prevent them.

If you have not yet started your business, take a peek at the following recommended points to brainstorm and consider before and after choosing a business name and registering a domain name. If you have started your business and are already growing it, take a moment and review some points that still require your consideration.  These points usually stir up legal problems between businesses at some point in their life cycles if not considered properly.

1. Business Plan. Business plans are roadmaps for a successful business. It generally outlines the route a company needs to take to grow its revenues and profits. If you have time, develop a business plan – even if it is simple – so that you have a living document to refer to.  As you carry on your business, the plans may change, but that is somewhat expected. These are helpful to keep you grounded and focused on your goals. It also serves as a great tool to measure performance per quarter or year.

2. Business Entity.  Consider whether you are going to operate as a sole proprietor or a corporation/LLC. Each one of these options offers different liability shelters and tax benefits that are worth exploring.  Besides performing general online searches about these topics, you best help yourself by seeking a consultation with a business attorney to really help you understand how each option would fit you. Sole proprietorship, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLC’s) are used for different business needs. Analyze your immediate and long-term needs under each business type.  Business entity planning is of even greater importance when dealing with 2 or more business partners. More often then not, partnership issues develop – even with family-owned businesses – where improper planning and document preparation was not in place. Review Buy-Sell Agreements, Shareholder Agreements, and other similar options available to adequately establish your 2+ person business relationships.

3. Business Names. Business names are fun to develop. A business can be named just about whatever it is you want and can be as creative or simple as you desire. However, note that you do not find two companies called “Coca-Cola” or “Pepsi Cola” for a reason. Trademark protections, copyright protections, domain name protections, and state laws exist to limit what you can name our business. As a basic example, if you want to be the next big App developer, you know your space is in the computer and information technology field. You won’t want to use a business name and slogan that is already in commercial use in that same technology field because if you do, it will be a matter of a trademark infringement lawsuit coming your way. Therefore, when doing something as simple as selecting a business name, be sure to perform your due diligence and determine whether anyone else is using that same name at a City, County, State, and Federal level.  Also determine whether they’re using the exact or similar name in your industry.

4. Domain Name Registrations. Before registering for a domain name, perform your due diligence in this step as well by looking for other domains and businesses (both domestically and internationally) already registered. Under business laws, trademark laws, and copyright laws, certain domain names may infringe on an existing business’s rights the minute the domain name becomes registered.  Avoid a trademark infringement claim when choosing a domain name. As a simplified explanation of the standard, if the new domain name causes confusion to the public between the new domain and an existing domain, it is likely an infringing domain. To avoid infringement issues, search the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s website for registered marks, potentially conflicting marks and marks which can cause general confusion.

5. Online Presence. Nowadays, a website acts like an interactive business card. A business website permits the business owner to share information about the business with the world. However, a business owner ought to be cautious with what they publish online and how. To continue with our previous example, if you are the next big App developer developing a gaming app to be marketed towards the public of ages 13+, be aware that there are state and federal laws that require businesses to disclose certain information. For example, a majority of the websites online (especially those for commercial purposes) publish a Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Statement of Use. Each one is carefully drafted to include the necessary disclosures required of their industry. If you operate a business website and have reason to believe it is used and viewed by minors, you should know about certain regulations applicable to this group such as COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. There are a great number of other online regulations that exist. Your use and requirements to address these regulations all depend upon your industry, target market, business practices, state of business formation, and other variables.  Lack of knowledge about these regulations is not an excuse.

6. Online Agreements. Do you know the difference between “browser wrap” and “click wrap?” These are two ways in which an online website visitor agrees to an agreement on your website.

7. Monitoring and Enforcement. Once you register your business name and/or trademark name you then have to monitor for infringement. Unless you enforce your rights to your business name and domain, you may wind up diluting the value of your business and losing your rights.

The above summarizes some points to review before and after moving forward with a new business. However, there are many other points to consider both during and after these stages. A lot of points are purely based on the type of business you plan. Business attorneys experienced in helping sole proprietors and business partners in different industries can be beneficial to you. Consider a consultation for representation with these initial matters. Business attorneys can also help you in the long run with various business transactions. See more and request a consultation.



Wills for Heroes San Diego Saturday, January 30, 2016

If you know a firefighter or police officer in your life, let him/her know about Wills For Heroes program.  San Diego has its own division, but it is a nation-wide organization.

Here is a bit more about the organization:

“Anthony Hayes, a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough, LLP, in Columbia, South Carolina, started the Wills for Heroes program shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Anthony emailed the Columbia Fire Department asking what lawyers could do to help that department. During an impromptu focus group, it became clear that there was a glaring need for estate planning services.

Since then, Wills for Heroes programs in ten states have provided more than 7,000 free estate planning documents for first responders. Because of the tremendous success of these programs, attorneys and bar associations across the United States started requesting assistance with implementing Wills for Heroes programs in their communities. In response, Jeff Jacobson and Anthony Hayes created the Wills for Heroes Foundation to oversee the nationwide expansion of these programs and connect volunteer attorneys with local first responders.” Wills for Heroes & San Diego division

San Diego Event

San Diego is hosting an event on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at the San Diego County Bar Association located at 401 W A St #1100, San Diego, CA 92101. Read more & sign up. I’ll see our first responders there!


Mediation and/or arbitration clauses in your contracts. Understand how each option works before signing your next contract.

When you enter into a contract you will often see that the initial terms are the most important ones describing the goods or services, prices, quantities and other matters that two parties have negotiated.  These are the material terms that contain the purpose of the contract. As you move towards the end of the contract, you will find miscellaneous boilerplate terms that a lot of people tend to glance over for a split second before signing the agreement. Miscellaneous terms tend to include provisions such as:

  • Jurisdiction. This paragraph describes which state laws will be used to interpret the terms of the contract.
  • Severability. This paragraph states that if any provision is determined invalid, the rest of the contract’s terms will be enforceable.
  • Assurances. This paragraph states that one party or the parties will take necessary actions necessary to carry out the terms of the contract.
  • Attorney’s Fees. This paragraph describes how and whether any attorney’s fees will be enforced if attorney’s are required in enforcing the terms of the contract.

The above are only a few examples and basic descriptions of the miscellaneous types of terms within a standard agreement. There are many others that should be reviewed thoroughly to understand the entirety of the transaction.

Well-written contracts also include a paragraph describing how any future disagreements related to the contract will be resolved. This paragraph is usually titled after your options – Mediation, Arbitration and/or Dispute Resolution. Understand that by signing the agreement, you are binding yourself to these resolution options in the event there is a problem in enforcing the contract in the future regardless of whether the enforcing party or not. It is a very important paragraph to review which will affect your future and should not be taken lightly.

  • Mediation is typically a 1 day negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party, usually a retired judge, with the goal of resolving the matter jointly between the parties.
  • Arbitration is a longer process similar to a lawsuit in court, except that it is managed outside of court using 1 arbitrator or a panel to make a decision. The process involves presenting evidence, arguments, calling witnesses and questioning by the parties, and so forth.

Both options are made available as more time- and cost efficient solutions towards resolving legal problems related to a contract rather than going to court for resolution.  The above descriptions are extremely basic and should be explored carefully. Well-written dispute resolution paragraphs describe in detail how the process will work.  Seek legal advice to interpret the paragraph if it is written in legal jargon.

BEFORE you sign an agreement, we recommend taking your contract to an attorney to discuss whether a dispute resolution option is best over the other option, Of course, this all depends on a few variables:

  • the type of transaction
  • the relationship between the parties
  • whether mediation is a practical option between the parties
  • your available funds towards resolving problems should they arise
  • whether you have a true option in negotiating the terms or simply have to adhere to the terms as written

KNOW that mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution options apply to a wide variety of contracts. These include:

  • cable bill
  • internet bill
  • new car purchase and lease
  • mortgages
  • employer/employee contracts
  • furniture purchase contracts
  • car service agreements
  • rental car contracts

Practically, all well-drafted and complete contracts include this type of provision. If your contract does not include such provision, seek legal advice before signing the contract.


Spring weddings are coming up. Add this to your wedding prep plans.

While parts of the County like Mission Valley, La Jolla, Fashion Valley, Ocean Beach and Sorrento Valley are currently  experiencing flooding issues this season with the recent El Nino related storms, some residents are thinking positively and are looking forward to a brighter upcoming Spring wedding season.

Weddings in general are surrounded by happy thoughts for the bride, the groom and their families. Most brides and grooms go through the motions of attending wedding expos and food samplings in preparation for their big day. These are all fun activities. But there are two activities that tends to get left out, probably for being considered less enjoyable: premarital legal planning and financial planning prior to marriage.  What is premarital legal planning? This can include the following:

For example, I once worked with a couple who were both previously married. The bride-to-be had a child from her previous marriage and the groom-to-be had an inheritance from his parents. Both wanted to know how their upcoming marriage was going to affect the bride’s son and the groom’s inheritance. Fortunately, they came for legal help before marriage thereby allowing them some important options. It was a bit of a rushed process since their wedding date was about 4 weeks out, however, timely assistance was possible.  Premarital legal planning is important.

If you’re getting married in 2016, we recommend that you speak with an attorney if you have any questions about your finances, family planning or property ownership planning. Marriage may or may not affect your situation. A consultation will help you determine your options.


Protect your property during this El Niño

Sandbags help to divert or redirect water, mud and debris from your property and help prevent soil erosion.

Free sand and sandbags are available to residents and business throughout San Diego County at the following locations:

Sandbags are also available at these retail vendors. For more information on flood debris and erosion control, view the Homeowner’s Guide for Flood, Debris, and Erosion Control

View more information at http://www.readysandiego.org/el-nino/


Filing a trademark this year? The International Classification was updated 1/1/2016

A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. To better understand how a trademark is different from a patent, copyright, domain name and business name, watch this short video published by the United States Trademark and Patent Office.


If you are interested in applying for trademark registration this year, note that the International Classification was updated and is effective as of January 1, 2016.   Bookmark or Favorite this page for future reference this year as you work on your application.  If you are preparing your own application, speak with an attorney before submitting your application. For certain parts of the application, an amendment cannot be submitted after filing the application, therefore, you are encouraged to seek a consultation about your trademarking needs before submission.   Here are other reasons to seek a consultation before submitting an application:

  • plans to seek trademark protection internationally
  • plans to use the trademark in commerce after submitting your application
  • a need to concisely describe your goods and/or services
  • learn which information becomes public record
  • apply for registration in the correct classification of goods and services

The following is the text released by the USPTO this year. Refer to the USPTO website for more information: 

International trademark classification, and the headings of the international trademark classes, are established by the Committee of Experts of the Nice Union and set forth in the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification), published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”). The general remarks, class numbers, class headings, and explanatory notes for each international trademark class are as follows.

The International Classification is available at http://www.wipo.int/classifications/nice/en/ (link is external). However, because the international list was developed to classify goods and services and not to identify specific goods and services, most entries will not be sufficiently definite to use in an identification of goods and/or services.

On January 1, 2016, the Nice Classification, Tenth Edition, version 2016 (NCL 10-2016), became effective. Changes to the class headings are highlighted in the Noteworthy Changes to the Nice Classification System under the Nice Agreement, Tenth Edition, version 2016.  To see a comprehensive list of all the new or changed entries, on or after January 1, 2016, please search the legacy version of the USPTO ID Manual using the Search Term “20160101[ED]” or conduct an advanced search in the Next Generation ID Manual using the exact date (“=” sign in the “Effective Date” dropdown menu) of January 1, 2016.

General Remarks

The indications of goods or services appearing in the class headings are general indications relating to the fields to which, in principle, the goods or services belong. The Alphabetical List should therefore be consulted in order to ascertain the exact classification of each individual product or service.


If a product cannot be classified with the aid of the List of Classes, the Explanatory Notes and the Alphabetical List, the following remarks set forth the criteria to be applied:

(a) A finished product is in principle classified according to its function or purpose. If the function or purpose of a finished product is not mentioned in any class heading, the finished product is classified by analogy with other comparable finished products, indicated in the Alphabetical List. If none is found, other subsidiary criteria, such as that of the material of which the product is made or its mode of operation, are applied.

(b) A finished product which is a multipurpose composite object (e.g., clocks incorporating radios) may be classified in all classes that correspond to any of its functions or intended purposes. If those functions or purposes are not mentioned in any class heading, other criteria, indicated under (a), above, are to be applied.

(c) Raw materials, unworked or semi-worked, are in principle classified according to the material of which they consist.

(d) Goods intended to form part of another product are in principle classified in the same class as that product only in cases where the same type of goods cannot normally be used for another purpose. In all other cases, the criterion indicated under (a), above, applies.

(e) When a product, whether finished or not, is classified according to the material of which it is made, and it is made of different materials, the product is in principle classified according to the material which predominates.

(f) Cases adapted to the product they are intended to contain are in principle classified in the same class as the product.


If a service cannot be classified with the aid of the List of Classes, the Explanatory Notes and the Alphabetical List, the following remarks set forth the criteria to be applied:

(a) Services are in principle classified according to the branches of activities specified in the headings of the service classes and in their Explanatory Notes or, if not specified, by analogy with other comparable services indicated in the Alphabetical List.

(b) Rental services are in principle classified in the same classes as the services provided by means of the rented objects (e.g., Rental of telephones, covered by Class 38). Leasing services are analogous to rental services and therefore should be classified in the same way. However, hire- or lease-purchase financing is classified in Class 36 as a financial service.

(c) Services that provide advice, information or consultation are in principle classified in the same classes as the services that correspond to the subject matter of the advice, information or consultation, e.g., transportation consultancy (Cl. 39), business management consultancy (Cl. 35), financial consultancy (Cl. 36), beauty consultancy (Cl. 44). The rendering of the advice, information or consultancy by electronic means (e.g., telephone, computer) does not affect the classification of these services.

(d) Services rendered in the framework of franchising are in principle classified in the same class as the particular services provided by the franchisor (e.g., business advice relating to franchising (Class 35), financing services relating to franchising (Class 36), legal services relating to franchising (Class 45)).

Class Headings with Explanatory Notes


Chemicals used in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry;

unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics;


fire extinguishing compositions;

tempering and soldering preparations;

chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs;

tanning substances;

adhesives used in industry.

Explanatory Note

Class 1 includes mainly chemical products used in industry, science and agriculture, including those which go to the making of products belonging to other classes.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   compost;

–   salt for preserving other than for foodstuffs;

–   certain additives for the food industry (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   raw natural resins (Cl. 2);

–   chemical products for use in medical science (Cl. 5);

–   fungicides, herbicides and preparations for destroying vermin (Cl. 5);

–   adhesives for stationery or household purposes (Cl. 16);

–   salt for preserving foodstuffs (Cl. 30);

–   straw mulch (Cl. 31).


Paints, varnishes, lacquers;

preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood;



raw natural resins;

metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art.

Explanatory Note

Class 2 includes mainly paints, colorants and preparations used for the protection against corrosion.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   paints, varnishes and lacquers for industry, handicrafts and arts;

–   dyestuffs for clothing;

–   colorants for foodstuffs and beverages.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   unprocessed artificial resins (Cl. 1);

–   laundry blueing (Cl. 3);

–   cosmetic dyes (Cl. 3);

–   paint boxes (articles for use in school) (Cl. 16);

–   insulating paints and varnishes (Cl. 17).


Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use;

cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations;


perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions;


Explanatory Note

Class 3 includes mainly cleaning preparations and toilet preparations.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   deodorants for human beings or for animals;

–   room fragrancing preparations;

–   sanitary preparations being toiletries.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   chemical chimney cleaners (Cl. 1);

–   degreasing preparations for use in manufacturing processes (Cl. 1);

–   deodorants other than for human beings or for animals (Cl. 5);

–   sharpening stones and grindstones (hand tools) (Cl. 8).


Industrial oils and greases;


dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions;

fuels (including motor spirit) and illuminants;

candles and wicks for lighting.

Explanatory Note

Class 4 includes mainly industrial oils and greases, fuels and illuminants.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– certain special industrial oils and greases (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).


Pharmaceuticals, medical and veterinary preparations;

sanitary preparations for medical purposes;

dietetic food and substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies;

dietary supplements for humans and animals;

plasters, materials for dressings;

material for stopping teeth, dental wax;


preparations for destroying vermin;

fungicides, herbicides.

Explanatory Note

Class 5 includes mainly pharmaceuticals and other preparations for medical or veterinary purposes.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   sanitary preparations for personal hygiene, other than toiletries;

–   diapers for babies and incontinents;

–   deodorants other than for human beings or for animals;

–   dietary supplements, intended to supplement a normal diet or to have health benefits;

–   meal replacements, dietetic food and beverages, adapted for medical or veterinary use;

–   cigarettes without tobacco, for medical purposes.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   sanitary preparations being toiletries (Cl. 3);

–   deodorants for human beings or for animals (Cl. 3);

–   supportive bandages (Cl. 10);

–   meal replacements, dietetic food and beverages not for medical or veterinary use (Cl. 29, 30, 31, 32 or 33).


Common metals and their alloys;

metal building materials;

transportable buildings of metal;

materials of metal for railway tracks;

non-electric cables and wires of common metal;

ironmongery, small items of metal hardware;

pipes and tubes of metal;



Explanatory Note 

Class 6 includes mainly unwrought and partly wrought common metals as well as simple products made of them.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   bauxite (Cl. 1);

–   mercury, antimony, alkaline and alkaline-earth metals (Cl. 1);

–   metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art (Cl. 2);

–   certain goods made of common metals that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).


Machines and machine tools;

motors and engines (except for land vehicles);

machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles);

agricultural implements other than hand-operated;

incubators for eggs;

automatic vending machines.

Explanatory Note

Class 7 includes mainly machines, machine tools, motors and engines.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   parts of motors and engines (of all kinds);

–   electric cleaning machines and apparatus.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain special machines and machine tools (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   hand tools and implements, hand-operated (Cl. 8);

–   motors and engines for land vehicles (Cl. 12).


Hand tools and implements (hand-operated);


side arms;


Explanatory Note 

Class 8 includes mainly hand-operated implements used as tools in the respective professions.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   cutlery of precious metals;

–   electric razors and clippers (hand instruments).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain special instruments (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   machine tools and implements driven by a motor (Cl. 7);

–   surgical cutlery (Cl. 10);

–   side arms being firearms (Cl. 13);

–   paper knives (Cl. 16);

–   fencing weapons (Cl. 28).


Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments;  apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity;

apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images;

magnetic data carriers, recording discs;

compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media;

mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus;

cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers;

computer software;

fire-extinguishing apparatus.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

–   apparatus and instruments for scientific research in laboratories;

–   apparatus and instruments for controlling ships, such as apparatus and instruments for measuring and for transmitting orders;

–   protractors;

–   punched card office machines;

–   all computer programs and software regardless of recording media or means of dissemination, that is, software recorded on magnetic media or downloaded from a remote computer network.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   the following electrical apparatus and instruments:

(a)   electromechanical apparatus for the kitchen (grinders and mixers for foodstuffs, fruit presses, electrical coffee mills, etc.), and certain other apparatus and instruments driven by an electrical motor, all coming under Class 7;

(b)   apparatus for pumping or dispensing fuels (Cl. 7);

(c)   electric razors, clippers (hand instruments) and flat irons (Cl. 8);

(d)   electrical apparatus for space heating or for the heating of liquids, for cooking, ventilating, etc. (Cl. 11);

(e)   electric toothbrushes and combs (Cl. 21);

–   clocks and watches and other chronometric instruments (Cl. 14);

–   control clocks (Cl. 14);

–   amusement and game apparatus adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor (Cl. 28).


Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments;

artificial limbs, eyes and teeth;

orthopedic articles;

suture materials.

Explanatory Note 

Class 10 includes mainly medical apparatus, instruments and articles.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   special furniture for medical use;

–   hygienic rubber articles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   supportive bandages.


Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes.

Explanatory Note 

This Class includes, in particular:

–   air conditioning apparatus;

–   bed warmers, hot water bottles, warming pans, electric or non-electric;

–   electrically heated cushions (pads) and blankets, not for medical purposes;

–   electric kettles;

–   electric cooking utensils.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   steam producing apparatus (parts of machines) (Cl. 7);

–   electrically heated clothing (Cl. 9).



apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

–   motors and engines for land vehicles;

–   couplings and transmission components for land vehicles;

–   air cushion vehicles.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain special vehicles not for transportation purposes (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   certain parts of vehicles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   railway material of metal (Cl. 6);

–   motors, engines, couplings and transmission components other than for land vehicles (Cl. 7);

–   parts of motors and engines (of all kinds) (Cl. 7).



ammunition and projectiles;



Explanatory Note

Class 13 includes mainly firearms and pyrotechnical products.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– matches (Cl. 34).


Precious metals and their alloys;

jewellery, precious stones;

horological and chronometric instruments.

Explanatory Note

Class 14 includes mainly precious metals, goods in precious metals or coated therewith and, in general jewellery, clocks and watches.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   jewellery (i.e., imitation jewellery and jewellery of precious metal and stones);

–   cuff links, tie pins.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain goods in precious metals classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods), for example, metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art (Cl. 2), amalgam of gold for dentists (Cl. 5), cutlery (Cl. 8), electric contacts (Cl. 9), pen nibs of gold (Cl. 16), teapots (Cl. 21), gold and silver embroidery (Cl. 26), cigar boxes (Cl. 34);

–   objects of art not of precious metals (classified according to the material of which they consist).


Musical instruments.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

– mechanical pianos and their accessories;

– musical boxes;

– electrical and electronic musical instruments.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– apparatus for the recording, transmission, amplification and reproduction of sound (Cl. 9).


Paper and cardboard;

printed matter;

bookbinding material;



adhesives for stationery or household purposes;

artists’ materials;


typewriters and office requisites (except furniture);

instructional and teaching material (except apparatus);

plastic materials for packaging;

printers’ type;

printing blocks.

Explanatory Note

Class 16 includes mainly paper and cardboard, goods made from those materials and office requisites.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   paper knives;

–   duplicators;

–   plastic sheets, sacks and bags for wrapping and packaging;

–   table linen of paper.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain goods made of paper and cardboard that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   paints (Cl. 2);

–   hand tools for artists (for example, spatulas, sculptors’ chisels) (Cl. 8);

–   bed linen of paper (Cl. 24).


Unprocessed and semi-processed rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and substitutes for all these materials;

plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture;

packing, stopping and insulating materials;

flexible pipes, not of metal.

Explanatory Note

Class 17 includes mainly electrical, thermal and acoustic insulating materials and plastics, being for use in manufacture in the form of sheets, blocks and rods, and goods made of the materials in this class.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   rubber material for recapping tyres;

–   padding and stuffing materials of rubber or plastics;

–   floating anti-pollution barriers.

This Class does not include, in particular: 

–   certain goods made of the materials in this class that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).


Leather and imitations of leather;

animal skins, hides;

trunks and travelling bags;

umbrellas and parasols;

walking sticks;

whips, harness and saddlery.

Explanatory Note

Class 18 includes mainly leather, imitations of leather, goods made of those materials, travel goods and saddlery.

This Class includes, in particular: 

– luggage tags.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– clothing, footwear, headgear (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

– certain goods made of leather, imitations of leather, animal skins and hides, that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).


Building materials (non-metallic);

non-metallic rigid pipes for building;

asphalt, pitch and bitumen;

non-metallic transportable buildings;

monuments, not of metal.

Explanatory Note

Class 19 includes mainly non-metallic building materials.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   semi-worked woods (for example, beams, planks, panels);

–   veneers;

–   building glass (for example, floor slabs, glass tiles);

–   glass granules for marking out roads;

–   letter boxes of masonry.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   cement preservatives and cement-waterproofing preparations (Cl. 1);

–   fireproofing preparations (Cl. 1).


Furniture, mirrors, picture frames;

unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, ivory, whalebone or mother-of-pearl;



yellow amber.

Explanatory Note

Class 20 includes mainly furniture and parts therefor, as well as certain goods made of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastic.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   metal furniture and furniture for camping;

–   bedding (for example, mattresses, spring mattresses, pillows);

–   looking glasses, furniture and toilet mirrors;

–   registration number plates, not of metal;

–   letter boxes, not of metal or masonry.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain mirrors, classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   certain goods made of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastic, that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   special furniture for laboratories (Cl. 9);

–   special furniture for medical use (Cl. 10);

–   bed linen (Cl. 24);

–   eiderdowns (Cl. 24).


Household or kitchen utensils and containers;

combs and sponges;

brushes (except paintbrushes);

brush-making materials;

articles for cleaning purposes;


unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building);

glassware, porcelain and earthenware.

Explanatory Note

Class 21 includes mainly small, hand-operated utensils and apparatus for household and kitchen use as well as toilet utensils, glassware and articles in porcelain.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   utensils and containers for household and kitchen use, for example, kitchen utensils, pails, pans of iron, of aluminium, of plastics or of other materials, small hand-operated apparatus for mincing, grinding or pressing;

–   electric combs;

–   electric toothbrushes;

–   dish stands and decanter stands.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain goods made of glass, porcelain and earthenware that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   cleaning preparations, soaps, etc.  (Cl. 3);

–   small apparatus for mincing, grinding or pressing, which are driven by electricity (Cl. 7);

–   razors and shaving apparatus, clippers (hand instruments), metal implements and utensils for manicure and pedicure (Cl. 8);

–   cooking utensils, electric (Cl. 11);

–   toilet mirrors (Cl. 20).


Ropes and string;


tents, awnings and tarpaulins;



padding and stuffing materials (except of paper, cardboard, rubber or plastics);

raw fibrous textile materials.

Explanatory Note

Class 22 includes mainly canvas and other materials for making sails, rope, padding and stuffing materials and raw fibrous textile materials.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   cords and twines in natural or artificial textile fibres, paper or plastics;

–   sacks and bags for transporting or storing goods and materials in bulk (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain nets and bags (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   strings for musical instruments (Cl. 15);

–   padding and stuffing materials of paper or cardboard (Cl. 16), rubber or plastics (Cl. 17).


Yarns and threads, for textile use.


Textiles and substitutes for textiles;

bed covers;

table covers.

Explanatory Note

Class 24 includes mainly textiles (piece goods) and textile covers for household use.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   household linen;

–   bed linen of paper.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain special textiles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   electrically heated blankets, for medical purposes (Cl. 10) and not for medical purposes (Cl. 11);

–   table linen of paper (Cl. 16);

–   horse blankets (Cl. 18).


Clothing, footwear, headgear.

Explanatory Note

This Class does not include, in particular:

– certain clothing and footwear for special use (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).


Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid;

buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles;

artificial flowers.

Explanatory Note

Class 26 includes mainly dressmakers’ articles.

This Class includes, in particular:

– slide fasteners.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– certain special types of hooks (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

– certain special types of needles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

– yarns and threads for textile use (Cl. 23).


Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors;

wall hangings (non-textile).

Explanatory Note

Class 27 includes mainly products intended to be added as furnishings to previously constructed floors and walls.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– wooden flooring (Cl. 19).


Games and playthings;

gymnastic and sporting articles;

decorations for Christmas trees.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

–   amusement and game apparatus adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor;

–   fishing tackle;

–   equipment for various sports and games.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain gymnastic and sporting articles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   Christmas tree candles (Cl. 4);

–   diving equipment (Cl. 9);

–   electrical lamps (garlands) for Christmas trees (Cl. 11);

–   fishing nets (Cl. 22);

–   clothing for gymnastics and sports (Cl. 25);

–   confectionery and chocolate decorations for Christmas trees (Cl. 30).


Meat, fish, poultry and game;

meat extracts;

preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables;

jellies, jams, compotes;


milk and milk products;

edible oils and fats.

Explanatory Note

Class 29 includes mainly foodstuffs of animal origin as well as vegetables and other horticultural comestible products which are prepared for consumption or conservation.

This Class includes, in particular:

– milk beverages (milk predominating).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain foodstuffs of plant origin (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   baby food (Cl. 5);

–   dietetic food and substances adapted for medical use (Cl. 5);

–   dietary supplements (Cl. 5);

–   salad dressings (Cl. 30);

–   fertilised eggs for hatching (Cl. 31);

–   foodstuffs for animals (Cl. 31);

–   live animals (Cl. 31).


Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee;


tapioca and sago;

flour and preparations made from cereals;

bread, pastries and confectionery;

edible ices;

sugar, honey, treacle;

yeast, baking-powder;



vinegar, sauces (condiments);



Explanatory Note

Class 30 includes mainly foodstuffs of plant origin prepared for consumption or conservation as well as auxiliaries intended for the improvement of the flavour of food.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   beverages with coffee, cocoa, chocolate or tea base;

–   cereals prepared for human consumption (for example, oat flakes and those made of other cereals).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain foodstuffs of plant origin (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   salt for preserving other than for foodstuffs (Cl. 1);

–   medicinal teas and dietetic food and substances adapted for medical use (Cl. 5);

–   baby food (Cl. 5);

–   dietary supplements (Cl. 5);

–   raw cereals (Cl. 31);

–   foodstuffs for animals (Cl. 31).


Agricultural, horticultural and forestry products;

raw and unprocessed grains and seeds;

fresh fruits and vegetables;

natural plants and flowers;

live animals;

foodstuffs for animals;


Explanatory Note

Class 31 includes mainly land products not having been subjected to any form of preparation for consumption, live animals and plants as well as food­stuffs for animals.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   raw woods;

–   raw cereals;

–   fertilised eggs for hatching;

–   mollusca and crustacea (live).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   cultures of micro-organisms and leeches for medical purposes (Cl. 5);

–   dietary supplements for animals (Cl. 5);

–   semi-worked woods (Cl. 19);

–   artificial fishing bait (Cl. 28);

–   rice (Cl. 30);

–   tobacco (Cl. 34).



mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic beverages;

fruit beverages and fruit juices;

syrups and other preparations for making beverages.

Explanatory Note

Class 32 includes mainly non-alcoholic beverages, as well as beer.

This Class includes, in particular:

– de-alcoholised beverages.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   beverages for medical purposes (Cl. 5);

–   milk beverages (milk predominating) (Cl. 29);

–   beverages with coffee, cocoa, chocolate or tea base (Cl. 30).


Alcoholic beverages (except beers).

Explanatory Note

This Class does not include, in particular:

– medicinal beverages (Cl. 5);

– de-alcoholised beverages (Cl. 32).



smokers’ articles;


Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

– tobacco substitutes (not for medical purposes).

This Class does not include, in particular:

– cigarettes without tobacco, for medical purposes (Cl. 5).



business management;

business administration;

office functions.

Explanatory Note

Class 35 includes mainly services rendered by persons or organizations principally with the object of:

(1)     help in the working or management of a commercial undertaking, or

(2)     help in the management of the business affairs or commercial functions of an
industrial or commercial enterprise,

as well as services rendered by advertising establishments primarily undertaking communications to the public, declarations or announcements by all means of diffusion and concerning all kinds of goods or services.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   the bringing together, for the benefit of others, of a variety of goods (excluding the transport thereof), enabling customers to conveniently view and purchase those goods;  such services may be provided by retail stores, wholesale outlets, through mail order catalogues or by means of electronic media, for example, through web sites or television shopping programmes;

–   services consisting of the registration, transcription, composition, compilation or systematization of written communications and registrations, and also the compilation of mathematical or statistical data;

–   services of advertising agencies and services such as the distribution of prospectuses, directly or through the post, or the distribution of samples.  This Class may refer to advertising in connection with other services, such as those concerning bank loans or advertising by radio.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   services such as evaluations and reports of engineers which do not directly refer to the working or management of affairs in a commercial or industrial enterprise (consult the Alphabetical List of Services).



financial affairs;

monetary affairs;

real estate affairs.

Explanatory Note

Class 36 includes mainly services rendered in financial and monetary affairs and services rendered in relation to insurance contracts of all kinds.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services relating to financial or monetary affairs comprise the following:

(a)   services of all the banking establishments, or institutions connected with them such as exchange brokers or clearing services;

(b)   services of credit institutions other than banks such as co-operative credit associations, individual financial companies, lenders, etc.;

(c)   services of “investment trusts,” of holding companies;

(d)   services of brokers dealing in shares and property;

(e)   services connected with monetary affairs vouched for by trustees;

(f)    services rendered in connection with the issue of travellers’ cheques and letters of credit;

–   hire- or lease-purchase financing;

–   services of realty administrators of buildings, i.e., services of letting or valuation, or financing;

–   services dealing with insurance such as services rendered by agents or brokers engaged in insurance, services rendered to insured, and insurance underwriting services.


Building construction;


installation services.

Explanatory Note

Class 37 includes mainly services rendered by contractors or subcontractors in the construction or making of permanent buildings, as well as services rendered by persons or organizations engaged in the restoration of objects to their original condition or in their preservation without altering their physical or chemical properties.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services relating to the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, dams or transmission lines and services of undertakings specializing in the field of construction such as those of painters, plumbers, heating installers or roofers;

–   services auxiliary to construction services like inspections of construction plans;

–   services of shipbuilding;

–   services consisting of hiring of tools or building materials;

–   repair services, i.e., services which undertake to put any object into good condition after wear, damage, deterioration or partial destruction (restoration of an existing building or another object that has become imperfect and is to be restored to its original condition);

–   various repair services such as those in the fields of electricity, furniture, instruments, tools, etc.;

–   services of maintenance for preserving an object in its original condition without changing any of its properties (for the difference between this Class and Class 40 see the Explanatory Note of Class 40).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   services consisting of storage of goods such as clothes or vehicles (Cl. 39);

–   services connected with dyeing of cloth or clothes (Cl. 40).



Explanatory Note

Class 38 includes mainly services allowing at least one person to communicate with another by a sensory means.  Such services include those which:

(1)        allow one person to talk to another,

(2)        transmit messages from one person to another, and

(3)        place a person in oral or visual communication with another (radio and television).

This Class includes, in particular:

– services which consist essentially of the diffusion of radio or television programmes.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– radio advertising services (Cl. 35);

– telephone marketing (telemarketing) services (Cl. 35).



packaging and storage of goods;

travel arrangement.

Explanatory Note

Class 39 includes mainly services for the transport of people, animals or goods from one place to another (by rail, road, water, air or pipeline) and services necessarily connected with such transport, as well as services relating to the storing of goods in a warehouse or other building for their preservation or guarding.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services rendered by companies exploiting stations, bridges, rail-road ferries, etc., used by the transporter;

–   services connected with the hiring of transport vehicles;

–   services connected with maritime tugs, unloading, the functioning of ports and docks and the salvaging of wrecked ships and their cargoes;

–   services connected with the packaging and parcelling of goods before dispatch;

–   services consisting of information about journeys or the transport of goods by brokers and tourist agencies, information relating to tariffs, timetables and methods of transport;

–   services relating to the inspection of vehicles or goods before transport.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   services relating to advertising transport undertakings such as the distribution of prospectuses or advertising on the radio (Cl. 35);

–   services relating to the issuing of travellers’ cheques or letters of credit by brokers or travel agents (Cl. 36);

–   services relating to insurances (commercial, fire or life) during the transport of persons or goods (Cl. 36);

–   services rendered by the maintenance and repair of vehicles, nor the maintenance or repair of objects connected with the transport of persons or goods (Cl. 37);

–   services relating to reservation of rooms in a hotel by travel agents or brokers (Cl. 43).


Treatment of materials.

Explanatory Note

Class 40 includes mainly services not included in other classes, rendered by the mechanical or chemical processing, transformation or production of objects or inorganic or organic substances, including custom manufacturing services.

For the purposes of classification, the production or manufacturing of goods is considered a service only in cases where it is effected for the account of another person to their order and specification.

If the production or manufacturing is not being performed to fulfil an order for goods which meet the customer’s particular needs, requirements, or specifications, then it is generally ancillary to the maker’s primary commercial activity or goods in trade.

If the substance or object is marketed to third parties by the person who processed, transformed or produced it, then this would generally not be considered a service.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services relating to transformation of an object or substance and any process involving a change in its essential properties (for example, dyeing a garment);  consequently, a maintenance service, although usually in Class 37, is included in Class 40 if it entails such a change (for example, the chroming of motor vehicle bumpers);

–   services of material treatment which may be present during the production of any substance or object other than a building;  for example, services which involve cutting, shaping, polishing by abrasion or metal coating;

–   the custom manufacturing of goods to the order and specification of others (bearing in mind that certain offices require that the goods produced be indicated), for example, custom manufacturing of automobiles.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– repair services (Cl. 37);

– certain customization services, for example, the custom painting of automobiles (Cl. 37).



providing of training;


sporting and cultural activities.

Explanatory Note

Class 41 covers mainly services rendered by persons or institutions in the development of the mental faculties of persons or animals, as well as services intended to entertain or to engage the attention.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services consisting of all forms of education of persons or training of animals;

–   services having the basic aim of the entertainment, amusement or recreation of people;

–   presentation of works of visual art or literature to the public for cultural or educational purposes.


Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto;

industrial analysis and research services;

design and development of computer hardware and software.

Explanatory Note

Class 42 includes mainly services provided by persons, individually or collectively, in relation to the theoretical and practical aspects of complex fields of activities;  such services are provided by members of professions such as chemists, physicists, engineers, computer programmers, etc.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   the services of engineers and scientists who undertake evaluations, estimates, research and reports in the scientific and technological fields (including technological consultancy);

–   scientific research services for medical purposes.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   business research and evaluations (Cl. 35);

–   word processing and computer file management services (Cl. 35);

–   financial and fiscal evaluations (Cl. 36);

–   mining and oil extraction (Cl. 37);

–   computer (hardware) installation and repair services (Cl. 37);

–   services provided by the members of professions such as medical doctors, veterinary surgeons,               psychoanalysts (Cl. 44);

–   medical treatment services (Cl. 44);

–   garden design (Cl. 44);

–   legal services (Cl. 45).


Services for providing food and drink;

temporary accommodation.

Explanatory Note

Class 43 includes mainly services provided by persons or establishments whose aim is to prepare food and drink for consumption and services provided to obtain bed and board in hotels, boarding houses or other establishments providing temporary accommodation.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   reservation services for travellers’ accommodation, particularly through travel agencies or brokers;

–   boarding for animals.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   rental services for real estate such as houses, flats, etc., for permanent use (Cl. 36);

–   arranging travel by tourist agencies (Cl. 39);

–   preservation services for food and drink (Cl. 40);

–   discotheque services (Cl. 41);

–   boarding schools (Cl. 41);

–   rest and convalescent homes (Cl. 44).


Medical services;

veterinary services;

hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals;

agriculture, horticulture and forestry services.

Explanatory Note

Class 44 includes mainly medical care, hygienic and beauty care given by persons or establishments to human beings and animals;  it also includes services relating to the fields of agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   medical analysis services relating to the treatment of persons (such as x-ray examinations and taking of blood samples);

–   artificial insemination services;

–   pharmacy advice;

–   animal breeding;

–   services relating to the growing of plants such as gardening;

–   services relating to floral art such as floral compositions as well as garden design.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   vermin exterminating (other than for agriculture, horticulture and forestry) (Cl. 37);

–   installation and repair services for irrigation systems (Cl. 37);

–   ambulance transport (Cl. 39);

–   animal slaughtering services and taxidermy (Cl. 40);

–   timber felling and processing (Cl. 40);

–   animal training services (Cl. 41);

–   health clubs for physical exercise (Cl. 41);

–   scientific research services for medical purposes (Cl. 42);

–   boarding for animals (Cl. 43);

–   retirement homes (Cl. 43).


Legal services; security services for the protection of property and individuals;  personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services rendered by lawyers, legal assistants, and personal advocates, to individuals, groups of individuals, organizations and enterprises;

–   investigation and surveillance services relating to the safety of persons and entities;

–   services provided to individuals in relation with social events, such as social escort services, matrimonial agencies, funeral services.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   professional services giving direct aid in the operations or functions of a commercial undertaking (Cl. 35);

–   services relating to financial or monetary affairs and services dealing with insurance (Cl. 36);

–   escorting of travellers (Cl. 39);

–   security transport (Cl. 39);

–   services consisting of all forms of education of persons (Cl. 41);

–   performances of singers or dancers (Cl. 41);

–   computer services for the protection of software (Cl. 42);

–   services provided by others to give medical, hygienic or beauty care for human beings or animals (Cl. 44);

–   certain rental services (consult the Alphabetical List of Services and General Remark (b) relating to the classification of services).


Can I Safely Create a Will Using a Self-Help Form Available Online?

We totally understand that sometimes electing to use self-help options is cheaper and faster to use. But, be very cautious with forms available online when it comes to creating a Will for yourself. This applies to both free forms and paid-for forms.

From our perspective, using a form online to create a Will is like using a self-help medical site to diagnose a medical condition online. They help by highlighting general aspects, but the document will not be custom to your particular needs and may not be done correctly. Most importantly, it won’t be custom to fit your family’s needs. Cutting corners by using an online form is not recommended for many other reasons: the document may contain outdated language, the document may contain provisions not recognized by the State, the document may not be executed correctly, the document may be ineffective as prepared, or the document omits serious terms which could have serious consequences.

An estate planning attorney, even through a consultation, will guide you in the right direction and provide you with information custom to your needs.  Having a properly drafted Will by an attorney helps you ensure that your hard-earned money and property will pass on to those you designate.

We do not recommend using or buying any estate planning documents online that are offered for free or cheap. In our opinion, they cause more headaches than its worth if done incorrectly. Seek a consultation about a Will. It will save you time, money and energy in the long run.

Suggested life-events to create a Will:

  • Buying a new house
  • New baby in your family
  • New job or pay increase
  • Marriage, divorce, or recent family death
  • Children leaving for college
  • New business or company
  • Health problems

New year, new you. Here is an attainable resolution for you to add to your list and crush within 3 months.

Happy New Year, 2016! Every new years, San Diegans create exciting resolutions to improve their lives. This tradition of creating resolutions has been known to exist during Babylonian time as we all want to live quality lives and improve our lives with a new calendar year. Some resolutions are very attainable while others are short-lived and last only a calendar month or so; trust me, we’ve all made those short-lived ones meant to improve our lives radically. Resolutions usually include:

  • Improve well-being;
  • Exercise;
  • Think more positively;
  • Upgrade wardrobe;
  • Put more money in savings;
  • Pay off all credit cards this year;
  • Improve finances; and
  • Spend more quality time with friends and family.

However, there is one resolution that often gets overlooked and that is to take care of your loved ones through planning. This is a resolution that should be handled in the next three calendar months to avoid having it become a short-lived resolution.  Taking care of your loved ones can be handled through creating a Last Will and Testament and/or a Revocable Living Trust. Most consider these documents are something the elderly group should concern themselves with, but this belief is entirely incorrect.  These documents are beneficial to anyone over the age of 18.  Essentially, these documents describe what happens to your cars(s), money, belongings, and possibly children, if you become incapacitated or die. These documents are created to have just in case anything were to happen to you. Of course, even though documents are created, we hope you live a great 2016 and many more years to come.  The documents described above are created in case of the unexpected and persons of all ages, especially after 18, should have one.

As life moves forward quickly in 2016 and you earn a pay raise, grow your family with new children or nieces and nephews, buy a new home, experience changes in your network of friends and family, it is a good time now (at the beginning of a new calendar year) to consider what Will or Trust you have in place. If you do not have anything in place, you should consider establishing one. If you have a Will or Trust in place but have not revisited the documents in years, it is a great time to reconsider the contents of the documents you have established.

As a courtesy reminder, do not mark your current Will or Trust with pen or pencil to note any changes. Doing so may invalidate your documents and really complicate your probate administration or trust administration.  If you are considering making changes to your Will or Trust, speak with an attorney to learn about the process. Depending upon the amount of changes you desire, different steps will be necessary to make those changes legally effective.

Crush this resolution by giving yourself a deadline.  Over the next 3 months, consider establishing or revisiting your Will or Trust. Now  that we’re already in the new year and you are soon going to be in the mind frame of handling your finances and taxes this upcoming tax season, it would also be a great time to add “estate planning review” to your list of goals to accomplish this year. In doing so, you’d crush your new years resolution of taking care of your loved ones in case of your absence.  Leaving your loved ones without such planning could cost them plenty of time and more importantly, money.

Call to schedule an appointment to discuss any of the following points involved in the process of estate planning. These are a list of commonly asked questions covered during an initial consultation about estate planning:

  • Should I create a Will or a Revocable Living Trust?
  • What does a Revocable Living Trust do?
  • Is a Revocable Living Trust better than a Will?
  • How much do you charge to establish a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
  • How long does it take to establish a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
  • Can I make changes to my Will or Revocable Living Trust over my lifetime?
  • How do I plan things so that upon my death, my wife/husband and our kids receive my money and property?
  • I have been divorced and remarried, are there any special provisions I need to include in my Will or Trust?
  • I do not have much, do I still need to create a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
  • What happens to our minor kids in case my wife/husband and I die simultaneously?
  • I have property in different states, how do I plan for that?
  • I want to plan for my children’s well-being after my death, what options do I have?
  • What happens to my debts when I die?
  • What provisions should I include in my Will or Revocable Living Trust.

Knock out an estate planning review in the next three months and rest easily for the rest of 2016 knowing that you have then cared for your loved ones with proper planning.  Ryan-Cruz Law, APC offers free 1-hour consultations concerning estate planning. Let us help you accomplish this task.