A 1989 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Francine D. Ward is a business, intellectual property, and estate planning attorney.
Francine’s intellectual property law focus is on helping clients protect their valuable creative content through copyrights; their developing and existing logos, designs, and business brands through trademarks; their books through carefully negotiated publishing agreements, and their purses by sensibly navigating social media legal issues—Knowing the Law.
Her business law practice is focused on reviewing, preparing, and negotiating agreements based on current, relevant, legal decisions, and counseling clients on the appropriate form of business entities. Not all businesses are created equal, especially under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Understanding the differences and the reasons for choosing one form over another is critical to counseling clients—Knowing the Law.
In addition to preparing proper estate documents based on the changing nature of the law, Francine counsels clients on the best estate plan for their needs. Such documents include trusts, wills, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, assignments of assets, certificates of trust, and trust deed recording documents. Not everyone needs a trust-based estate plan, for some people a will-based plan is sufficient. And for some people, an irrevocable trust is more appropriate than a revocable trust. Understanding the clear distinction among these things is not just about spitting out documents at a trust-mill document factory, it’s about knowing the nuances of each and being able to competently explain the differences—Knowing the Law.
Francine is an active participant in her church community, her support community, and her legal community. She is a leader in the American Bar Association’s 19,000+ Intellectual Property Law Section, where she is a member of Council, the section’s governing body. She also chairs the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Committee, sits on a number of committees and boards, and is liaison for the Specialized Practice Division. Finally, like Ward doesn’t have enough to do, she teaches intellectual property and contract drafting at the California Desert Trial Academy of Law in Indio, California.
Francine Ward lives in Palm Desert, CA with her husband, Richard Lipfield and her Persian cat Kiwi.