Estate Asset Rights Need to be Protected

The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has provided numerous posts discussing the need to identify, protect and collect estate assets.  One of the fundamental obligations of an estate fiduciary such as an Executor or Administrator is to make certain that property belonging to the decedent is available for the benefit of estate beneficiaries.  As discussed in earlier posts, a decedent may have owned assets of various types such as bank accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds.  However, interests in other types of assets such as intellectual property rights, copyrights, trademarks and business interests need to be secured, as well.  There have been a few recent reports detailing the efforts made to obtain estate protection for these less common variety of property interests.

In a post by Eriq Gardner on June 2, 2014 in the entitled “Here’s the Lawsuit Claiming Led Zeppelin Stole ‘Stairway to Heaven’, it is reported that heirs of a guitarist and songwriter have filed a copyright infringement claim against the Led Zeppelin rock group. The lawsuit, which dates back to events occurring 43 years ago, asserts that the Led Zeppelin group wrongfully used guitar music previously created by the claimant to write the iconic “Stairway to Heaven”.

In another post by Eriq Gardner dated July 8, 2014 in the entitled “John Wayne’s Heirs Sue Duke University Over Trademark Rights to Alcohol,” is it reported that the late actor’s heirs are attempting to prevent Duke University from interfering with the promotion and sale of an alcoholic bourbon labeled “Duke”.   John Wayne was known as “The Duke”. The university claims that the sale of the liquor by John Wayne Enterprises will be confused with the school and tarnish its image.

In yet another case reported at by Eriq Gardner on July 14, 2014 entitled “Marvel Urges Supreme Court to Deny Review of Superhero Rights Dispute”, the heirs of Jack Kirby who was a comic book freelancer for Marvel comics, assert that the Kirby estate should own the rights to the comic creations he produced rather than Marvel comics.

As a New York Estate Lawyer I have assisted many executors and administrators to identify, protect and collect various types of estate assets. Fiduciaries have an obligation to protect estate property and it is important that they complete their duties properly so that all of the beneficiaries of an estate receive their proper inheritance.

New York City Trusts and Estates Lawyer Jules Martin Haas, Esq. has been representing clients in Probate and Estate Administration proceedings throughout the past 30 years. He is available to help residents in many areas, including Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. If you or someone you know has any questions regarding these matters, please contact me at (212) 355-2575 for an initial consultation or e-mail me at

Jules Martin Haas provides his clients and members of the community with a free monthly e-newsletter which contains articles covering a variety of legal topics including estate planning, financial matters and real estate. If you wish to be placed on the e-newslist, simply e-mail me at You can cancel receiving the newsletter at anytime.




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