Why Selling Song Catalogs Is Smart Estate Planning for Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Others

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Why Selling Song Catalogs Is Smart Estate Planning for Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Others

For artists such as Neil Young and Bob Dylan, estate planning is becoming synonymous with selling their music catalogs. There are still people who argue against this practice, acting as though it’s akin to selling their souls. But with the price of these catalogs booming due to streaming services, selling their song catalogs is most likely just good business. They can take the money they get from the catalog, and use it to invest in other areas that can leave something to their heirs when they pass away.

Bob Dylan, for example, recently sold his master recordings, catalog, and personal archive. He received nearly $650 million for it, which is a tremendous sum of money in the eyes of most people. Now he can do whatever he wants with that money, where he didn’t have the same option for the song catalog itself. The same is true for Neil Young and other artists, who are seeing the value of their catalogs and looking for ways to use that value in other types of savvy investments for their estate planning goals.

During the pandemic, artists couldn’t tour. That led to a huge spike in the selling of music catalogs, and there were plenty of buyers who were more than happy to purchase those catalogs, too. Part of the reason this is becoming so common today, is that the music streaming market is growing rapidly. The value of music rights has grown right along with the market, giving artists more options, and even more to consider.

Whether artists choose to sell their song catalogs or not is, of course, a very personal decision. But it is important for them to consider the level of value these catalogs have grown to, and what they might want to do with the money they would receive from the sale. Selling their catalog may be the right choice for solid estate planning options.

Is your estate plan current and complete? For help ensuring your estate is administered the way you would want, contact The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center today.