Madeleine Robins October 31st, 2006
No, not Shakespeare or Prince William.
Neil Gaiman points out, with useful illustrations, why anyone with literary property (is that you?) should have a will. Like, right now.
Years ago, my friend Steve Popkes and I agreed to be each others’ literary executors. It sounds a little pretentious–like talking about my presidential library. But the fact is that I’ve published ten novels and bunches of short fiction and other stuff, and when I die (because sadly, there’s no if about it) my beloveds would have no clue what to do with it. But Steve would.
If you have kids, you probably have a will (if you don’t, get on it, unless you want the State, or your dotty Aunt Grizelda, raising the sprats after your demise). You can add a codicil regarding literary executorship. If you haven’t got a will, get on it. Even if you don’t care what happens to your spoon collection or your second best waffle-iron after you die, I suspect that you do care whether your literary output is sold for quitclaim rights to Engulf and Devour’s Videogame Department.
Get on it.