Paul L. Caron

Monday, January 9, 2023

Simmons: An Estate Plan For Kanye West

Thomas E. Simmons (South Dakota; Google Scholar), An Estate Plan for Kanye West, 39 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 195 (2021):

Cardozo AELJOne inventory item in megastar Kanye West’s vast portfolio merits particular care – his right of publicity. The right of publicity, a property interest, represents the commercial value of a celebrity’s name, image, and likeness. In some states, the right survives the celebrity’s death and is freely alienable. Postmortem use and transferability restrictions on property with particular importance to the testator are often pursued by means of a trust. 

A noncharitable purpose trust as a means by which West’s right of publicity can be safeguarded and utilized appropriately is proposed here. After framing hypothetical estate planning objectives for Kanye West, and disposing of several alternative possibilities, a noncharitable purpose trust which accomplishes those objectives is described.

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