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Intellectual Property Estate Planning For Tampa Residents


When people think of estate planning, they usually consider the large assets like the home, a vacation home, vehicles, perhaps a timeshare, and the intangible financial assets like the deceased’s bank and investment accounts. But what about intellectual property? What if the deceased was an artist or an inventor? Should people just starting to plan for their estate consider intellectual property as well? 

What Exactly is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property, often referred to as IP, is an umbrella term for intangible creations of the human mind, and other tangible items like artwork. For example, a copyright, trademark, or patent are all considered intellectual property. Literary and artistic works such as a sculpture, a book of poetry or short stories or a graphic design idea for a symbol or logo are also considered intellectual property. To protect intellectual property, you have to obtain intellectual property rights for it, which may involve a copyright or patent. While some people might never take the step to protect their intellectual property, even fewer people consider what happens to their intellectual property when they pass on. 

Why Should Intellectual Property Be Considered? 

Even if your intellectual property is not financially valuable, it may have intrinsic or sentimental value. Maybe a work of art you own has remained in your family for generations. Perhaps you are a songwriter and your children don’t know yet, and they could go on to publish your writings or lyrics posthumously. Maybe you own patent rights to an invention or a copyright for graphic design logos. If you own a copyright, you should include both the copyright and the item copyrighted in your will, and make a decision as to how that property should be distributed, otherwise one heir could end up with the copyright and the other with the property. For patents, this comes with additional responsibilities such as maintaining the patent license periodically, and often an estate plan for transferring ownership of a patent should be devised concurrently with a trust. The trustee appointed should understand what is required for them in maintaining a patent. 

Contact Tampa Estate Planning Attorneys at Strategic Counsel Law Group

If you own intellectual property, chances are you worked very hard to create and protect that property. It deserves to be protected and live on, and a strategic estate plan can help you accomplish that goal. Our Tampa estate planning attorneys at Strategic Counsel Law Group provide individually-tailored advice and estate planning strategies to all our clients, and we can help you too. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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