When you discuss estate planning with your family, it is easy to imagine you talking about what property you wish to pass down. The house, the car and any wealth you have are high up on the list of things you need to handle.
However, there are several types of assets that are not tangible like a piece of land. Not only that, they do not have a fixed value like an insurance policy. Intellectual property is something you created and that has value despite being non-physical.
Types of IP
Intellectual property includes patents or trademarks that you might own for a business. It can also mean copyrighted works like a novel or painting. Anything you created and fixed in a medium, whether that is canvas or digital code has copyright protections and may also have value to assess.
The value of IP
The World Intellectual Property Organization notes that a major point of an IP’s value is its exclusivity—or who does and does not have the right to use it. However, another point of value is the future benefits an IP may give through sale or licensing.
IP and trusts
Because IP is an intangible property, you have the flexibility to include them in trusts in a variety of ways. You may determine who retains the rights or who benefits from royalties after your death. There are different benefits whether the trust is revocable or irrevocable.
When navigating this complex topic, it is important to lean on your resources to make sure any trust respects your wishes regarding your IP.