New Texas Law Allows for Beneficiary Designation on Your Vehicle

Here at Prevost, Shaff, Mason & Carns, P.L.L.C., one of our most important duties is to stay current on the latest legislative developments and share those updates with our clients, friends and families.

With that in mind, we wanted to share that the Texas Legislature has recently added new provisions to the Texas Estates Code and Transportation Code allowing for the designation of a beneficiary on your vehicle to take title upon your passing without the need for probate or otherwise.

We know organizing an estate after a family member’s passing can be difficult and designating a beneficiary of your vehicle is another great way to help simplify estate matters and make sure your wishes are followed.

The following are the highlights of the new laws:

  • To create a transfer on death designation, the owner must submit an Application for Title that is available online or at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”), which contains a designation of beneficiary effective upon the owner’s death;
  • Importantly, the owner retains full rights in the vehicle, meaning, he or she can still sell the vehicle, remove the beneficiary, or change the beneficiary designation by submitting a new Application to the DMV at any time before the owner’s passing;
  • The beneficiary’s rights to the vehicle do not arise until after the owner passes away; and
  • Within 180 days of the owner passing away, the beneficiary must submit the old title, a new Application for Title, and proof of the owner’s death (generally, the death certificate) to the DMV.

If you would like to discuss this or other smart estate planning steps further, please give us a call at (972) 239-6200 or e-mail me at Chris@psmclaw.com.

A Registered Trademark Could be the Key to Growing a Successful Business

One of our main practice areas here at Prevost, Shaff, Mason & Carns, PLLC is business development and strategy, and our passion is to help our clients plan for the future and protect their accomplishments in every aspect of their lives.

When developing a successful business, one important facet is to create a strong, recognizable brand to further enhance the value of the company today and in the future if and when it sells. As such, we wanted to provide you with the ten best reasons to apply for a registered trademark:

  1. Discourages others from using confusingly similar marks in the first place by making the mark easy to find in a trademark availability search.
  2. Protects against registration of confusingly similar marks.
  3. Treats the mark as if used nationwide as of the application date, which is vital in a system in which first use wins.
  4. Provides nationwide notice of ownership of the mark as of the registration date.
  5. Serves as evidence of the validity and exclusive ownership of the mark for the goods and services listed in the registration.
  6. Grants the right to use the ® symbol when the mark is used for the goods and services listed in the registration.
  7. Grants the right to sue in federal court and, in certain cases, obtain treble damages and attorney fees.
  8. Entitles you to certain statutory damages in the case of counterfeiting.
  9. Provides a basis for foreign registrations, facilitating protection of your marks worldwide as business expands.
  10. Empowers US Customs and Border Protection to block imports that infringe the mark or are counterfeits.

Should you wish to discuss applying for a registered trademark, please give our office a call at (972) 239-6200 or e-mail me at olivia@psmclaw.com.

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