Planning for your estate after you pass away should often involve more than merely determining how financial assets will be distributed. You might just have some special heirlooms that you want to make sure go to particular people. If so, you need to plan for who gets them. Some people, however, will want to plan for how their image might be used in the future.
Recently, rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg used a holographic image to perform with deceased rapper Tupac Shakur on stage. As it turns out, they received permission to do this from Shakur’s estate. The estates for other celebrities are considering allowing similar uses for their images. Most of us aren’t Hollywood celebrities, but even local celebrities, such as a newscaster, should consider how and when they want their image to be used after they pass away. If nothing else, they should decide who will be in charge of deciding whether to allow the use. Shakur probably did not anticipate performing holographically after he had passed away. Similarly, other people cannot anticipate what future technology might bring. What’s in Hollywood today, might be cheap enough in the future to use locally and in circumstances no one anticipates now.
If you have an image you want to protect, talk to an estate planning attorney about how to protect it after you pass away.