Protect your creative work in your Will

We can guide you through your copyrights and papers after death. In the United Kingdom, any copyrights and the Artist’s Resale Right (“ARR”) last your lifetime plus a further 70 years after death. This makes them a valuable asset that you can protect and pass down through generations.

Why you should write a Will

By writing a Will, you are able to leave your copyright, ARR and moral rights in the hands of someone you trust ensuring your artistic work is treated and remembered in the way you would wish. This includes the rights to any unpublished work. Also, whoever you choose to inherit your rights will be able to benefit financially from royalties generated by them. You may wish this to be family, friends or your chosen charity.

If you do pass away without having a Will in place, the rules of ‘intestacy’ apply. All of your assets, including your artistic assets, pass according to the UK rules of intestacy which may not be in line with your wishes. This can also create problems of inheritance and tax for your loved ones.

What should be included

In your Will, specific wording is required to ensure that your executors have the correct powers to deal with your estate, including your artistic work. It is also important to select the correct people to handle your estate as appointing multiple individuals can result in administrative difficulties.

Some people may choose to appoint executors and ‘literary executors’. These are two distinctly different roles that may need to work together but have different powers over different parts of the estate. An executor however, can be given the power or direction to appoint a literary manager.

Finally, you must include who you wish to benefit from your artistic work. This includes having access to the work itself, access to copy rights, and access to any royalties/profit. It is important to be aware that Copyright, ARR and Moral Rights can be referred to separately in your Will. You may wish for family and friends to benefit or even a museum, school or charity to benefit. If you are making a gift to your family, you may look to include a trust to protect the asset and plan against inheritance tax.

Contact us now

If you have any artistic assets that you wish to protect, pass on through generations or simply ensure they are remembered, contact us now. We can discuss the best option for you. Call us on 01543 440 308 or email