Estate Planning for Music Clients

As recording artists become more successful, many accumulate significant wealth -- money, property, possessions, art, memorabilia, or businesses interests. Like any high net worth individual, artists are understandably concerned about how to distribute those assets upon their death. For entertainers, there is the added issue of who assumes ownership of the licensing rights to their songs and other intellectual property. They may be also concerned that their dependents are protected and their wishes will be carried out.

Dickinson Wright’s team of estate planning lawyers regularly works with high net worth artists and other entertainers to help manage those uncertainties. We are intimately familiar with the unique wealth and asset situations of those in the entertainment industry, and we take a holistic approach to helping our clients manage what they’ve earned. Our lawyers guide clients in choosing enforceable means of retaining, administering, and transferring their wealth in a way that also aligns with their values and expressed wishes. This includes managing rights to a recording artist’s body of work, which is, after all, their legacy. We also advise on related tax issues and other matters.

Our work in this area includes:

• Tailoring wealth transfer planning, including a wide variety of trusts and wills, business issues, and disposition of property.
• Developing plans for assigning rights to an artist’s body of work and other intellectual property after their death.
• Addressing business ownership succession and transfer.
• Counseling on personal finance and family needs, including Powers of Attorney, medical directives, prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, divorce, post-judgment and custody and asset protection planning.
• Advising on related tax issues, including federal estate and state death tax returns; individual, trust and estate income tax returns; tax returns for families, closely-held businesses and tax-exempt organizations; and government audits and investigations.