How to Handle Intellectual Property in Estate Planning
By Andrew J. Zulieve, Esq.
If you are an author, artist, owner of a business or inventor, protection of your company’s valuable intellectual property rights should be an essential component of its business plan.
Certain types of intellectual property, such as business ideas, trade secrets, visual art, literary and musical works, inventions, computer programs, designs of clothing and architecture, are protect-able under applicable federal or state laws for copyright, trademarks, trade secrets and patents. Accordingly, when discussing your estate plan with your attorney, don’t forget to include these valuable assets in that planning process.
The value of these intellectual properties may constitute a significant part of the value of a person’s total estate, so it is crucially important to discuss these issues with an attorney with expertise in intellectual property law, who will work in conjunction
with your estate planner.
Here are a few of the important considerations:
1. Does your will or trust include the transfer of intellectual property interests?
2. Does your life insurance policy include provisions for the value of such interests?
3. Does the executor or trust have authorized power to dispose of or manage these interests?