How to leave royalties
Royalties can be gifted in a number of ways.
You may prefer to leave your royalties as an outright gift to one person, several people, or to a specific charity. J M Barrie’s generous gift to Great Ormond Street Hospital of the rights to Peter Pan in 1929 has provided a valuable source of income for the charity ever since.
Leaving any asset as an outright gift means that, once the estate is finalised and the asset parted with, your estate relinquishes all control. Your right to the royalties then becomes the property of the person (or entity) to whom they were left, and they could ultimately end up passing from them to someone entirely unrelated to you after they die.
A more suitable alternative could be to protect your royalties under a trust. A trust allows you to retain greater control over who receives the royalty income, both immediately after your death and for future generations. Trusts are, however, subject to very strict rules regarding their longevity so you should seek advice to ensure that your plans do not contravene the perpetuity rules.
If you have royalties to leave and you do not pass them by way of a specific gift, they will fall into the residue of your estate and pass accordingly.