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What is a Literary Executor?

By Carmine Perri

the-story-1440526-mAlbert Einstein had one. So did Michael Jackson. Some of our greatest and most prolific geniuses protected their work by appointing a literary executor in their Last Will & Testament.

If you own copyrights to published materials created by you or others, will your heirs understand what to do with them when you’re gone? The best way to protect all that you have produced or acquired in your lifetime is to appoint a literary executor.

What is a literary executor?

To answer this question, let’s first look at what an executor is. The primary duty of the executor you appoint in your Will is to administer your estate after your death.

But did you know that you could appoint different executors to handle different parts of your estate?

 A literary executor is responsible for, and has authority over published property you produced during your lifetime.

This includes anything from publication or republication of your works to royalties and copyrights.

And guess what? Your literary executor’s decisions trump any other executor named in your Will. For example, if your literary executor requests it, your executor must pay the expenses needed to put your papers in order, catalog them, and take any other steps necessary to maintain your literary property.

If you worked hard during your lifetime to create or acquire valuable literary property, don’t you owe it to yourself and your heirs to protect its value?


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