An author, whether traditionally published or self-published, must consider the possibilities with business succession planning and estate planning. Outside of the challenges of leaving asset transfer entirely up to the state for all your other property, authors also have the additional challenge of figuring in their royalty payments and copyrights for their books.
Protecting Your Author Business
Having all of your business processes, systems and passwords in your head does you no good if something happens to you and a family member needs to step into the role of managing these relatively quickly.
When you have no estate plan in place, you leave your family members to try to figure out these complicated details. With no will the state is responsible for determining what happens to your assets. If you have done one step of the estate planning process, such as writing down all of your business accounts and passwords, for your author business or online details, that leaves the heir who takes over for you with a sheet of paper and no ideas beyond that.
This means that for some short period of time the proceeds of the sales from your book or your royalties will go into your bank account. In addition, any ongoing advertisements, such as Amazon ads or Facebook promotions that you might have been running at the time you pass away, will continue running until those companies have been notified that the primary author has passed away.
This can create a complicated web of online materials and passwords that is very difficult for your loved ones to sort out. Don’t make this be something they have to consider or try to work through on their own. Having an estate plan in place makes it possible for someone to step in quickly and gain access to all of your necessary accounts to take the proper steps.
How to Get Started with Author Estate Planning
When it comes to author estate planning, there are a couple of important things you can do. First of all, you can make plans and arrangements so that it’s easier for your loved ones during a difficult time. It’s important to view your author reputation much like a business and all businesses face succession issues. These succession issues have to do with who will take over or key employees and managers if something happens to the owner.
Viewing your online publishing venture like a business will help you to take a step back and decide what needs to be incorporated into your author estate planning process. Here at Royalty Reminder, we help you keep track of all the documents, contracts and royalty agreements from all of your different publishers so that it can be streamlined and easy for your personal representative or estate executor to step into the process and help when needed.