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Nuts and Bolts: Estate Planning for Artists.

June 8, 2018

Nuts & Bolts – Estate Planning for Artists 
It is a difficult topic to approach but having a plan in advance will prevent family members or friends additional grief.
We are by no means experts in Estate Planning and you should discuss with a lawyer.  Outside of GCU, as an artist, it is a good idea to account for your creative works in your estate planning. The copyrights to your creative works are assets as are their commercial usage.
Here is the suggested process at GCU to transfer your account after your passing:
1. Ideally it is best for the artist to arrange in advance who the GCU account beneficiary, successor or heir will be. This can be done formally in a will with a lawyer or by other means assigning your copyrights to someone else upon death or incapacitation. 
2. Provide the following GCU account information to be communicated with the executor or beneficiary:  Artist id#, account login and password, GCU website URL
3. Upon passing, the beneficiary should contact GCU and provide some proof of passing and right to the account for verification purposes:
a) Death Certificate
b) Proof of Succession
c) Power of Attorney
4. The beneficiary can keep the GCU account under the same email address if they have access to it, or more likely change it to their own.  If they have the original login credentials they can do this on their own, otherwise GCU can assist. 
5. Other important account information that should be updated:  mailing address, phone number, payment method.  Most importantly they will need to update the Entity Type and SSN or EIN for tax reporting purposes. For Non US citizens, a new W8-BEN will need to be on record with GCU reflecting the beneficiary. 
6. If the beneficiary is NOT able to make design changes, custom requests or submit new cards they should a) let GCU know and b) turn the Custom Request option to NO in Global Preferences
Overall this can be a gift to the surviving family member(s) as not only do the earnings continue but also their loved one’s art continues to be enjoyed as a lasting tribute and legacy.
GCU of course will work with the beneficiary, successor or heir to help with the above and facilitate a smooth and successful transition.
Here are some helpful and related articles:




The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager
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