Who Gets the Royalties in Artists’ Wills

Music titans Michael Jackson and Prince are long gone, but the royalties in artists’ Wills can live on for decades. Just ask Elvis Presley’s record company, RCA. Presley and manager “Colonel” Tom Parker cut a $5.4 million deal in 1973 that granted RCA 100 per cent of all future royalties on his recordings before that date. Nearly 50 years later, Presley’s songs are rumoured to generate a cool $60 million annually.

Who will get the last will if you're gone

You’re Never Too Old (or Dead) to be Sued

“Star Spangled Banner” guitar legend Jimi Hendrix blazed a fiery path across rock stardom before dying in 1970. His estate and Sony Music recently asked a New York City court to deny a claim by beneficiaries of bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell for a slice of what can be lucrative, lifetime royalties in artists’ Wills.

The afterlife — Prince’s estate and protecting royalties in artists’ Wills.  

Haunting Business: Who Gets MJ’s Royalties?

Demonstrating just what we mean when we say royalties in artists’ Wills can come back to haunt you, “Thriller” and “Bad” producer Quincy Jones won a $9.4 million judgment against Jackson’s estate in 2017. The decision came eight years after the Jackson 5 child star and brilliant singer-dancer-lyricist died, and on top of the nearly $18 million Jones had already earned. “Thriller” was 19th on Billboard’s Hot 100 song list in 2021.

The ultimate guide to types of Wills in Ontario. 

Do Royalties in Artists’ Wills Ever Die?

Royalties in artists’ Wills do eventually dwindle. In Canada, copyright lasts 50 years, and in the U.S., 75 years. That said, licensing and selling your works after you die can get messy for your estate trustee and beneficiaries. 

Picture this, who will:

  • defend your copyrights
  • ensure your work is trademarked
  • collect royalties to disburse to beneficiaries
  • or authorize sellers to carry your “merch”

if you neglect or forget to protect your artists’ royalties in Wills?   

What to do when the deceased left two Wills

Talking to lawyers to handle your case

Why You Need a Lawyer for Royalties in Artists’ Wills

Making a Will to protect royalties in artists’ Wills just makes sense. Using Axess Law’s experienced Wills and estates lawyers ensures your beneficiaries don’t get left out in the cold when you pass on.

Just as an example, handwritten or holographic Wills can be challenging to write in ways that ensure your personal possessions and real property are distributed as you intended. They may leave out important details an Ontario court requires to declare your last Will and testament as valid. 

When to make a professional Will in Ontario. 

Say you die unexpectedly, with a holographic or handwritten Will you think will cover off your estate wishes. An incomplete Will could leave those who rely on you most for financial support emotionally distressed, or in dire straits while they wait for your estate to be settled.

Your executor can take months, and potentially more if your estate is wrapped up in lengthy lawsuits or court challenges by beneficiaries, to distribute your estate. Do you really want your family to wait and wait if your final Will is defective?

Update personal Wills with a lawyer for Wills and estate. 

Worst case scenario, your Will may be contested in an Ontario probate court by beneficiaries who hoped or expected to receive certain assets from your estate. They may even challenge your decisions about who to appoint as your estate trustee, executor, or personal representative. 

Probate courts rarely overturn a deceased’s final wishes, provided they are clear and legally valid. That’s why we recommend making a professionally prepared Will every time your personal circumstances (marriage, separation, divorce, adoption, or new parent) or financial wealth change.

Axess Law ensures when you make Wills in Ontario that they are signed and witnessed by only those parties legally allowed to do so. We give you a copy to keep, and if you like, for a modest, one-time fee, we keep the original in Axess Law’s Wills storage.

Why hiring a lawyer for Wills could save you money.  

Making a Will Just Got More Affordable

Axess Law caters to singles and couples, with low, flat rate lawyers for individual Wills, or mirror Wills for you and your spouse. Make a basic Will for less, or come in with your legally married or common law spouse to make two Wills at once. You can even make personal Wills for yourself, and multiple Wills for business interests.

Make multiple wills – Ontario estates

Our basic Will fees start at $199.99 and up plus HST. Couples pay only $149.99 and up each plus HST to draft mirror or individual Wills in a single appointment. You can make individual bequests, or if you prefer, duplicate key provisions in your spouse’s or partner’s Will to protect your children’s interests after you die. 

Add power of attorney for finances (called property) or personal care when you write your Will, or we can include it later. You pay just $249.99 and up each plus HST for a virtual Will and two powers of attorney, or $299.99 each plus HST if you make your Will in person. 

Include powers of attorney in an Ontario Will. 

Can Axess Law Recommend a Lawyer for Wills Near Me?

We can. In fact, you can meet with Wills and estate lawyers from your home or office when you use Axess Law’s virtual lawyer services. Use any home computer, laptop, or compatible mobile device to talk to our licensed legal professionals anywhere in Ontario. 

We use only secure, confidential video conferencing software to put your Will in order. Drop by any Axess Law office to finalize your Will. We give you a copy and, for a modest, one-time fee, can keep your original in our convenient Wills storage.

Using a virtual notary in Ontario — it’s easy and affordable.  

Finding a good lawyer to help you

Find a Lawyer for Cheap Wills in Toronto, the GTA or Ottawa 

Book remote video calls from anywhere in Ontario, or make in person appointments at any open Axess Law office in Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa. Pick times and days that are convenient for you by using our online booking form, or call us to discuss your appointment. Dial our 1-647-479-0118 lawyer line, or toll free to 1-877-402-4277, to find a lawyer for Wills and estates near you. 

Axess Law has onsite parking, and easy transit access.