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Estate Planning for Creators of Intellectual Property

Valuation of IP, Discounting of Royalty Streams, Drafting Bequests and Structuring Trusts

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide estate planners with a comprehensive guide to the unique planning needs of artists, authors and other creators of intellectual property. The panel will discuss the 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, artworks and other intellectual property assets.


Taxpayers who have significant self-generated intellectual property assets, such as copyrights to artistic or literary works, trademarks, and 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 efficiently transfer to beneficiaries after the death of their creator.

Estate planners must ensure that any copyrights held by the author or artist are correctly registered and meet the criteria for the client to pass his/her rights on to others. Additionally, the Copyright Act specifies assets that can only be transferred by will; planners must identify those assets and 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 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 key issues:

  • Types of assets that must be passed down via a will under Copyright Act provisions
  • Structuring an LLC in conjunction with a trust to hold intellectual property assets
  • Best practices for utilizing valuation discounts
  • License vs. sale and valuation considerations


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

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

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