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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am an author and receive small royalty payments ebook

Customer Question

I am an author and receive small royalty payments for my ebook sales etc from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. What is the best legal arrangement for me to make regarding these payments should I die, as they will continue to be paid to me? I am married, and I'm wondering if it would be advisable to have a separate bank account in joint names (with my husband) for these payments now to avoid any problems if I die before him? Also should I add a codicil to our joint mirror wills as to whom I want to inherit my literary estate when I die, providing I outlive my husband, of course? I am a pensioner and not very well off, so I do not want to entail massive legal cost to adjust our wills.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. May I ask if you have made any specific gift of royalties in your will please?If not would you want to leave them to someone other than your spouse whom I assume is our principal beneficiary?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No gift of royalties are made so far in my will. The mirror wills for my husband and I were made a number of years ago before I became a published author. Yes, as my husband and I are both in our mid 70s, so I would want to leave them to my daughter, should I outlive my husband. Can I do this as a codicil? Our wills are at present with a solicitor for safe keeping, btw.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Your information is quite right that the royalties do not cease on your death. Rather they continue to be payable to your estate and as such can be left as a legacy in your will. If they are not specifically left as a legacy then they will simply pass to you residuary beneficiary.From what you say I suspect your residuary beneficary may be your spouse and failing this your child(ren) - which would be typical though your will may follow a different form.If you wish to leave the royalties other than to your residuary beneficiary then you will need to make a specific legacy of them which you can do either by making a new will or as you say by making a codicil. A quick tip - if you are going to ask the solicitor to make a codicil, if it is the same solicitor that prepared your wills sometimes it can be simpler (and therefore cheaper) jut to make a new will because if the solicitor still has easy access to your will on computer it can be quicker just to pull it up and add an extra clause than draft up a new codicil. Just a practical rather than legal point but worth mentioning. Otherwise a codicil would typically cost £90-150 _ VAT on average.Have I been able to help you with all your questions on the above?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I take your point about it being simpler and cheaper to ask the solicitor to add an extra clause than draft a new codicil. However, I don't have access to the solicitor any more who drew up the wills for me and my husband. As I said earlier, they are at present as far as I know just filed with a local solicitors for safe keeping. Would this mean a clause cannot be added and I would have to draft a new codicil? Can this be done, btw, using the Free Wills arrangement for charity. This was how we drew up our original mirror wills about 15 years ago?

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
If the firm that is holding them did not prepare them it is unlikely that they will have an electronic copy of the wills. The above tip was just a practical one in that if the solicitors do still have an electronic copy just adding a clause to the will and printing off a new one can be quicker and cheaper than a codicil.However here a codicil is likely to be the simplest approach. To my knowledge codicils are not offered using the various free will promotions that are available from time to time because solicitors only tend to offer new wills but there is nothing preventing a codicil being offered and the question could be asked. If all else fails you could simply decide to prepare new wills next time there is a free wills promotion which happens from time to time throughout the year.Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** I realised once I'd asked the question, that what you suggest regarding preparing a new will next time a promotion is on, probably might be my best option. I appreciate the advice you've given me and I don't think there really isn't anything further to ask. Thanks again.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
A pleasure. If I can assist any further please do not hesitate to revert to me If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though