Estate Planning for Creators of Intellectual Property

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE/CPE webinar will provide estate planners with a comprehensive guide to the specific planning needs of artists, authors and other creators of intellectual property. The panel will discuss valuation of copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and patents, as well as discounting of royalty streams, and offer practical guidance on drafting bequests and structuring trusts designed to hold copyrights to literary works, art works and other intellectual property assets.


Taxpayers who have significant self-generated intellectual property assets, such as copyrights to artistic or literary works, trademarks, service marks or patents, face specific estate planning challenges in ensuring that ownership of these assets and their related income streams are passed for the benefit of family descendants or other designated beneficiaries. Planners serving these clients must understand the intersection of the Internal Revenue Code and the Copyright Act in structuring estate and trust documents to effectively transfer to beneficiaries after the death of their creator.

Estate planners must ensure that any copyrights held by the author or artist are properly registered and meet the criteria for the client to pass his/her rights on to others. Additionally, the Copyright Act specifies that certain assets can only be transferred by will; planners must identify those assets and properly structure will documents to avoid unintended tax consequences.

Understanding valuation of future royalty streams from intellectual property is also a must for estate planners serving clients who have IP rights in their self-created assets. By utilizing LLCs or other incorporated vehicles, planners can minimize tax through properly documenting valuation discounts upon transfer of assets to these vehicles.

Listen as our experienced panel provides practical guidance on the unique challenges and benefits of structuring estate plans for authors, artists and other creative personnel.



  1. Introduction/Overview
  2. Intersection of Internal Revenue Code and Copyright Act
  3. Areas of an author’s business that must be covered by a will
  4. Literary trustee duties
  5. Foreign considerations for copyrights held by estates and trusts
  6. Trademarks and Service Marks
  7. Patents
  8. Structuring Trusts and LLCs


The panel will review these and other important issues:

  • How can estate planning counsel verify that copyrights will be honored in a bequest or trust transfer?
  • What types of assets must be passed down by will under Copyright Act provisions?
  • How can counsel structure an LLC in conjunction with a trust to hold intellectual property assets
  • What are best practices for utilizing valuation discounts?
  • What are the different license vs. sale and valuation considerations?


Tippett , Scott
Scott K. Tippett

The Tippett Law Firm

Mr. Tippett's practice focuses on wealth law, as a comprehensive and integrated approach to domestic and...  |  Read More

Christi Rodriguez Cottrell, J.D., MFA
Christi Rodriguez Cottrell, J.D., MFA
New York Life Insurance Company

Ms. Cottrell is a Minnesota-licensed attorney having worked in Estate and Business Planning for nearly a decade across...  |  Read More

Low, Megan
Megan Low, Esq.

Director of Services
Arts & Business Council of Boston

Ms. Low focuses on educating attorneys about important elements of an artists' practice that need to be considered...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include program handouts. To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

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