Thinking about creative assets during estate planning

There are few objects more precious to a creative individual than personal works in progress tend to be. Whether these works consist of a draft of a novel, the beginnings of a painting or a book of photography that has yet to be fully shot, works in progress and fully formed works that have yet to be sold and marketed tend to be uniquely precious.

If you are a creative individual, it is important to address both works in progress and fully formed works that have yet to be sold or marketed in your approach to estate planning. An attorney experienced in handling semi-formed and unsold works of intellectual property specifically will be able to help ensure that these precious assets are treated according to your wished in the event that they remain semi-formed and/or unsold at the time of your death or incapacitation.

Thinking about how your creative work will be treated in the event of your death or incapacitation can be a difficult process. But it is a necessary undertaking. Some artists prefer for their unfinished works to be destroyed, while others opt to have their works viewed only posthumously. Still other artists prefer to entrust their works to heirs, universities or charitable organizations.

If your creative work is meaningful to you, it should be meaningful enough to address in your estate plan. If you have not already done so, please contact an experienced estate planning attorney in order to make your wishes both known and legally binding.

Source: New York Times, “Putting an Estate Value on the Assets Unique to You,” Paul Sullivan, Sep. 27, 2013

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