One of the many things that an estate administrator might have to worry about is how the ongoing rights of the deceased are going to be protected. In some estates, everything gets settled at a definitive time not too long after the deceased passes away. However, other estates have to worry about rights that continue for a lengthy period of time, such as intellectual property rights and publicity rights.
The estate of guitarist Randy Rhoads offers an example of this. Rhoads was a rock guitarist and most famous for his work with Ozzy Osbourne. Many heavy metal fans view Rhoads as a legend. That makes his intellectual property and publicity rights valuable. Like most estates with valuable property rights, Rhoads’ estate has sought to carefully protect those rights and limit how they can be used. A few years ago, the estate made a deal with a documentary director to make a film about Rhoads. According to the estate, the director violated that deal. The estate has sued for various causes of action. The basic claims are that the director did not finish the film when and how the parties agreed and that the director overstepped the agreement by attempting to publish a coffee table book using private photographs.
This is one more reason why estates should consider lawyers to assist them in administering the estate.