Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch's Will May Now Be Valid

Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, died May 4th of cancer and left behind a handwritten will. In that will, there were instructions which demanded that his music should not be used in any advertising in the future. Yauch did not want the timeless songs that were his life's labor to end up in corny commercials, and outlined the desire. Yet because Yauch added this provision into the will by himself with his own handwriting, and due to the way that he worded the provision, it may not even be valid. According to Forbes, if the decedent's family tries to honor this desire in the will or insists upon it when approached by advertisement companies, then they may end up in months or years of legal tangles.

Outside of this interesting provision about the use of Yauch's music, the rest of his will is relatively basic. The document was filed with the New York Surrogate's Court back in August, and has been honored for the most part. Yauch left his entire estate to a trust which has private terms. Many celebrities choose trusts as a method of estate planning because this allows them to keep the terms of their estate planning probate. The decedent's estate was worth approximately $6.4 million and is going to be governed by his wife, who is the executor. He also included a provision in naming a guardian for his daughter should she become orphaned. While this is not a common additive in a will, it may become a helpful provision should Yauch's wife die before his daughter is 18/ The last line of Yauch's will, as was prepared by his attorneys, prohibits that Yauch's image or name be used for advertising purposes.

This is a common provision that many celebrities make in their wills in order to preserve their image. After the will was finished, Yauch took a pen an added to this final sentence. He wrote in that a music or artistic property that he created should not be used for advertising purposes either. This small change created a big issue legally. This is because the sentence that was originally created by the lawyer discussed publicity rights. Publicity rights are often added into the wills of famous person's. Yet when Yauch added the provision about the music, he was dealing with the matter of copyright, which can make things very complicated. Typically, copyright law is a federal law that refers to any literary, artistic, musical, or creative work. Copyright owners have the right to control their work and get paid for it. IN the music industry, this covers sound recordings as well as the actual music of the composition. Composers of the music and lyricists are both considered authors in these situations.

Yauch could only protect the music that he owned solely. The Beastie Boys often collaborated on music, which means that they also have an equal right to do what they would like with the music that was created when they were a musical group. If the other band members permit a song to be used in advertising, they would merely need to give some of the proceeds to Yauch's heirs. His heirs would have a difficult time enforcing Yauch's preferences if the other band members wanted to let an advertising company have the right to a song. Had Yauch added details about how his heirs should enforce this wish, this may have helped him. If you are dealing with a complicated provision that was in a loved one's will, then you will want a highly skilled and knowledgeable attorney to come to your aid. Use this directory to get started!