Just a thought...does anyone know what I can do legally to leave my royalties to my beneficiary in the event something should happen to me? Right now, it goes to my bank BUT, if I die, my account goes to beneficiary then, they close the account. Then what?? How would they alert and prove to Amazon they are entitled to the money?
Write up your will and include your information on your books/business. You should talk to a tax guy and/or accountant about how to set things up as a business anyway. You can write a will yourself as long as you do it according to your state laws which do vary, or use something like Will Maker that will walk you through it for most things that normal people need. You can of course, also see an estate lawyer to have one done up.
And be sure to leave the info about account names, numbers, passwords, etc. too.
Well, I'm not sure if I'm the attorney who posted.
But your book, and the royalties that come from it, are like any other piece of property. Just like the silverware, you can include it in your will, and if you don't have a will, it will be distributed according to law (which generally means to your closest relatives).
I assume that Amazon will need to see some proof, such as an order from the probate court, saying that this particular piece of property goes to some specific individual.
Just make sure that whoever is going to be responsible for your estate is aware of this property. But it shouldn't be more difficult than a myriad of other things, such as the title to your car, the title to your house, a bank account, etc. In short, I wouldn't stress about it too much.
It's really complicated. You have to make out a will. Be sure to include the ISBN numbers. Then your beneficiary has to present copies of the will plus a death certificate to the bank, Amazon, etc. I believe the beneficiary can then change the bank account to his/her name.
However, the US taxes are a real deal breaker. First there is the inheritance tax and I don't know if that applies to each month's income for the rest of your beneficiaries life or not. Then there are the income taxes, which have to be estimated four times a year, depending on the amount coming in. It's over $600 a year I think. Then...if you have more than one beneficiary, it double complicates it. You should probably consider setting up a trust. Of course, that'll cost you too.
I'm at the will stage leaving everyone to one daughter, to be divided among all my descendants. But then, she has to pay income tax, and so will each of them when the money is divided. Double taxes on the same money! I'm considering splitting my 18 books in half to avoid that second tax. But who gets what?
The good news is...probably no one will promote my books after I am gone, therefore no income and -- problem solved.
I have my account info written down and my other legal papers all ready...but after joining Amazon, I contacted my Atty and he said, which really made me laugh, is " if you know you're going to die, change the names in the account" ! Like I know this??? Anyway, as life deals me blow after blow, it made me wonder how to write it up and what steps I can do NOW in case. Wonder if I can put two names on my Amazon account....like an either or?
Twenty two books out there...that's a lot of ISBN numbers....
I made copies of each, which helps and as for inheritance taxes...by the time those are due, I won't care!
It's just that right now, not one of my beneficiaries know anything about the publishing world. Or Amazon. Or my will. Or my banking...yikes! I need to call my son!
But thanks for the info.....back to my lawyer I guess!
In the event of death without a will, there's still intestate succession. It's much better to have a will and keep things out of protracted probate, etc., and make things that much easier for your intended heirs.
As to Marti's statement on no one promoting - I'd refer everyone toerotica author Emy Naso (pen name for a TV writer under his real name as I recall), who died in 2005.
I live in Florida. Very different than some states. My husband gets only what is his and what I choose to give him. Then, there are my sons. Hmmm...I better get back with my lawyer on this one! Thanks!
I had a co-author die unexpectedly. The publisher contacted me for contact info for her family, which I provided. Her assets, like all her other assets, went to her immediate family.
I have a document--in print--with all of my email and accounts (paypal, bank, various publishers, etc.) and passwords (secret question answers, the works). Just to make it efficient for my heir(s) later. I have one copy stored in my house, and my accountant has the other copy.
I mean, not to be morbid or anything, but it isn't if I die. It's when I die. We are all going to die at some point. Don't blame the messenger! lol So... make it easy on those who come after you.