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ABCD of Copyright

9. Making a will

You do not need a lawyer to make a will covering simple needs. Even a dated scrap of signed paper with basic instructions and the signatures of witnesses with addresses could ensure that property is distributed as wished.

But a professionally written will, regularly updated to take into consideration changes in circumstances and in the law, is infinitely preferable.

A photographer has assets other than a house and goods and chattels. Copyright is an intellectual property and can be bequeathed in the same way as anything else. Photographers can choose who they want to exercise their moral rights after their death. Photographers should ensure that when it comes to drawing up a will, a solicitor is used who is professionally aware of the intellectual property rights involved and these rights should be treated as a separate entity. Spouses or partners may not necessarily be the ideal persons to handle the complexities of copyright and moral rights and should be consulted about this. The future recipient of any intellectual property should be asked. They may not want it!

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