Do You Own an Intellectual Property? It Belongs in Your Living Trust

Do You Own an Intellectual Property? It Belongs in Your Living Trust

Just as more traditional assets such as real estate and financial accounts can be passed on to beneficiaries, intellectual property is considered an asset that should be included in a Will or Living Trust.

A few things to think about:

  • Whether through oversight or ignorance, many people fail to make provisions for their intellectual property.
  • It may be due to the intangible nature of intellectual property–it can’t be seen, touched or physically moved into a Trust, so it’s easy to overlook.
  • Owners often don’t know when their intellectual property rights terminate. Some believe the rights end with their death, though this is not always the case.
  • As long as the trademark continues to be used and renewed, it has no expiration date.

A copyright, by its very definition, outlives the creator of the work it covers

Good examples of copyrights outliving their creators are celebrities–Michael Jackson and Prince. Both of these entertainers died without carefully identifying how their assets would be distributed among their heirs. The posthumous value of their names and products has increased dramatically due to supply and demand. In these examples, it can take years to settle their estates as families and creditors lobby for a share of the wealth. The stakes are high, with millions of dollars to be divided among the heirs.

Identifying intellectual property: an invention, a song

An intellectual property can take a wide range of forms—a song or a groundbreaking invention. It can be a business whose name and goodwill have become valuable. If you have an intellectual property, you will want to ensure that the rights are passed on to your heirs and document this in your Living Trust along with your home, brokerage accounts and other valuable assets.

We encourage everyone to create a Living Trust

Do you have a Living Trust that needs to be updated with an Intellectual Property? Contact California Document Preparers at one of our three Bay Area offices today to schedule an appointment to either update or create your Living Trust. Our dedicated team is helpful, compassionate and affordable.