At the recent Coachella music festival in California, a 3D hologram of Tupac Shakur performed solo and in a duet along-side fellow rapper, Snoop Dogg. The hologram was surprisingly realistic and has created a huge buzz in the media and general public. Opinions on the hologram of the deceased rapper varied widely. Some felt the hologram was a cheap ploy based on greed, some thought it was eerie and unnatural, but most seemed to feel it was a tribute and an honor to his memory. No matter their personal opinions on the use of Tupac’s image, all seemed impressed by the stunning technology.
You may very well be wondering what this has to do with estate planning. Well, a celebrity’s “image” is a large part of their estate, and strict rules apply to the use of their name and/or image. To use Tupac’s image, they would need to have had approval from his estate and to pay whatever price was agreed upon for the use. In this situation, Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, is the executor of his estate and gave full authorization for the hologram. In fact, she was apparently very pleased with the results as well.
With celebrity estates generally looking to increase their funds, this could become a great method for additional income. After Tupac’s surprise appearance, people have already expressed high hopes to see their favorite deceased celebrities perform via hologram. Most common requests have involved Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and the recently deceased Whitney Houston. Of course, the decision will be up to whoever holds the rights to each celebrity’s estate, whether it be the family members, the record label or hired professionals.
While the majority of us do not have a celebrity image to maintain, we do all have specific standards and opinions on how we want our estate managed. Since we do not know how things will change in the future, it is important to have an executor that you trust. There was no way for Tupac to have foreseen that his image would be used as a performing hologram at Coachella. As such, it was left to his mother to decide on his behalf. This is a strong reminder to ensure your estate plan is set up according to your wishes. Make certain you have trustworthy individuals and/or professionals assigned to follow the dictates you set down in your plan.
To ensure your estate is protected and set up according to your wishes, call MH at 888.222.1328 to schedule a free consultation or review.
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