Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wants to Leave Copyright to Son

Dear Rich: I want to leave a copyright to my son but want the management of publication, sale and any income from the book to be left to my husband. How do I arrange that? A copyright consists of a bundle of rights and it sounds like you want that bundle --  the right to reproduce, distribute and profit -- to go to your husband. We're not sure what that would leave for your son except to have his name on the copyright (and having your name on the copyright doesn't mean much if somebody else has acquired all of the rights). Perhaps what you wanted was for your husband to obtain all rights and income during his life and then for the copyright to pass to your son after your husband's death. In that case, you would most likely want to establish a trust. We're not estate planning experts (though we have friends who are) but we believe that it would be more than a simple living trust. More likely it would need to be irrevocable and would require an attorney's assistance.