A primer on Estate Planning for Writers

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Awareness of estate planning problems can be very essential to writers because of the unique nature of property rights in written books. Proper planning make sure that the ownership of a writer’s work after his or her demise will end up in safe and knowledgeable hands.

In addition to giving the writer enough posthumous rights over his or her work, an estate plan can significantly lessen the total amount of estate tax paid at death. Because valuations of written works for estate tax purposes aren’t exact, estate taxes may turn out to be significantly higher than might have been thought. Therefore, it is very essential for writers to lessen their taxable estate as much as possible.

An estate plan may be either will-based or trust-based. Each type has benefits. However, both are legit forms of estate planning. Estate laws including probate processes differ throughout the U.S., and a plan that works well for one individual in one state may be wrong in other cases. Proper estate planning requires a knowledgeable lawyer and sometimes the help of other experts like life insurance agents, accountants, including bank trust officers.

 The Will

A will is a special document in two respects. First off, if well created, it is ambulatory, meaning it can accommodate modifications, like applying to property gotten after the will is created. Second, it is revocable, meaning it terms can be modified or even cancelled without the consent of the estate beneficiaries.  

When well drafted, wills not only address how the assets of the estate will be shared but also foster better management of the assets. Those individuals liable for administering the estate of a decedent are regarded as executors in some states and personal representatives in others. It may be a perfect idea for writers to hire select joint executors so that one has publishing or writing experience and the other boast of financial know-how. In this way, the financial choices can have the benefit of at least two views. If joint executors are utilized, it will be important to make some provision in the will for resolving any deadlock between the two. A lawyer’s help will be important to set forth all these crucial considerations in legally enforceable and clear terms.


A popular way to transfer assets outside the will is to place the property in a trust that is made before death. A trust is simply a legal arrangement by which one individual holds a particular property for the benefit of another (beneficiaries). The individuals holding the property is regarded as the trustee; those who will benefit from the trust are commonly regarded as the beneficiaries.

To make an authentic trust, the writer must indicate the trust property, make a declaration of intent to create the legal document, transfer property to the trust (this is always a step that is ignored and can create several issues), and designate identifiable beneficiaries. Failure to designate a trustee will nor defeat the trust, as if no trustee is assigned, a court will choose one (the writer may designate himself or herself as trustee). 

Trust can be created by will, in which they are regarded as testamentary trusts, but these trust properties will be probated in addition with the rest of the will. To prevent probate, the writer must create a valid inter vivos or living trust.

Need an estate planning attorney?

Planning an estate can be a complicated process. It involves a lot of paperwork and legal documents like power of attorney, trust, will, etc. Thus, if you want to plan your estate the right way, it is important that you contact a professional.

An estate planning attorney can help you in several ways. This professional can help you plan your estate and help you create the necessary estate planning documents. If you need to update your estate plan, this professional can be of help as well. Also, if you have concerns or questions, contacting an estate planning attorney is the best way to find answers.

We boast of competent estate planning attorneys who can help you navigate the tough estate planning process. Simple get in touch with our office so we can offer you or your loved ones our professional services.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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