Part II – A Trust or an LLC Can Help Manage Author Assets after Death

estate planning for authors last willYay, you came back! On Monday, we talked about what happens to a writer’s intellectual property (IP) after they die. A will was mentioned as a fairly simple way to pass on this asset. However, a will has some drawbacks.

“Every state is different, but a will can spend up to a year in probate,” said Chad Whitfield, an attorney with Hunter, Smith and Davis in Tennessee. “It has to stay open between four months and a year, and things become public. The copyrights you own, all the assets have to be on the inventory. Some people like to keep it private. With a living trust, you can accomplish the same goals, but it’s private.” Continue reading “Part II – A Trust or an LLC Can Help Manage Author Assets after Death”

When Your Books Outlive You – Estate Planning Experts Offer Advice for Writers

estate planning for authors last willSo, you’ve built a writing empire, or more likely, you’ve published a couple of books and they sell enough to pay your cable bill each month (or your coffee bill, if on a smaller scale). Now, you die; what happens? Well, that is going to depend on how you’ve planned for it. I talked to a couple of estate planning experts on what self-published writers need to do to ensure their intellectual property assets (that fancy legal term for your books) pass on in a way that you want. Estate planning, like a good novel, has a few twists and turns, so here’s the skinny so you don’t get caught off guard. Continue reading “When Your Books Outlive You – Estate Planning Experts Offer Advice for Writers”

Writing From The Right Side Of The Heart


My recent absence from this site has a really good excuse: I was in the VA hospital for a month following open heart surgery (valve job) and ensuing complications. It’s nice to be back. Really nice, believe me. And I hope you won’t mind me sharing some writing insights occasioned by the perspective of a twelve hour trip into the Valley of the Shadow. There are lots of good ways and bad ways to wake up, but I’d suggest that it’s hard to beat cresting the surface of consciousness and coming to realize that you are in an ICU bed and sighing to yourself, “Made it!” Because it wasn’t a sure thing, and that statistical reality speaks to the only thing that really, truly, puts a life into perspective: that whole matter of ceasing to be alive. There will be some changes made.

And I don’t mean the kind of changes like my shiny new Unobtanium alloy aorta valve (with it’s requirement to take dangerous blood-thinning pills the rest of my life) or the snazzy $25,000 pacemaker setting my pulse at a nice even 70 bpm as long as the batteries last. Or even the MAZE procedure in which (SF writers will just love this) they used frozen gas and taser technology to create a maze of scars on the surface of my heart, thus raising a series of levies to channel the wildassed electrical fields into rhythmic channels, like the Corps of Engineers’ eternal struggle to tame the Mississippi. I’m not making that up. Maybe they were. But what I’m talking about here isn’t medical wildness, but a cold-eyed Horseman’s assessment of my so-called writing career. Continue reading “Writing From The Right Side Of The Heart”