Will a registered trademark be listed as an asset in an estate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Will a registered trademark be listed as an asset in an estate?

My Dad recently passed away without a will, and he probably has more debt than
assets. He had a business that has a trademark registered by him as the owner.
Will we have to give up the trademark to the estate’s debtors?

Thanks,… Brad

Asked on June 14, 2018 under Estate Planning, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Intangible property, like trademarks, copyrights, patents, or a right to receive money (e.g. accounts receivable) are all property, just like physical property (e.g. a house, a car, artwork) or cash (whether in a bank or under a mattress). Therefore, it is an asset of the estate, is something that could be reached by creditors, and if not used to pay creditors, is something will go to the estate's heir(s). Just like you can buy or sell a trademark, you can inherit it--or be forced to turn it over to or sell it for creditors (or to pay bills).

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