A collection of good fonts is valuable part of our estate after we die, but ensuring its continued financial exploitation in the best interests of our beneficiaries is probably difficult.
I know that The Type Founders
are keen to do deals, but I'm curious if anyone has had thoughts or ideas for the inevitable event.
The other option would be to sell all rights to the fonts for a lump sum, the price of which would need careful consideration.
I wonder if any of us here have made these arrangements, and how best to do it.
Design schools might be one of the options.
Haters-traitors don't deserve it and helpers don't need it. There were hundreds of the first kind and the others I can count on one hand.
Smash that Disagree button all you like.
That being said, I can fully understand that people want the best for their kids.
Anyway, I guess all I'm saying is that there is something to be said for donating monetary value to some charity or government. Letting it go to waste by not making any arrangements seems wasteful indeed.
If I were the government, I would tax the hell out of inheritance, but I'm not the government
@Andreas: I have the feeling that our political views don't align, and that is fine. For some background to my view, you could for example read this (an account is free). My main reason for disagreeing, however, is your insistence on the importance of me not having kids. In my view, this is an 'ad hominem' argument suggesting that my opinion is somehow less valid or important than someone else's because of who I am. This is a dangerous train of thought that does not foster an open and productive debate. I believe we should be having discussions with a diversity of people and ideas, based on the quality of the arguments rather than who supplied them.
I should additionally disclose my experience on the other side: My parents died young, in 2003 and then 2004, orphaning myself and my two sisters. Due mainly to life insurance payouts, but some pensions and residential properties, the estate was about £1,600,000.
About £250,000 was not taxed, which was about the value of the single residency suburban provincial home we lived in, and then the remainder was taxed at 40%, so after probate the estate passed on to each of us about £350,000.
The effective inheritance tax rate I paid was about 33%.
This seemed fair to me, then and now. Is this "hell taxed"? I'm not sure, curious what you lot think
I disagree strongly with this statement. All states today are socialist - arguably since the end of the gold standard under FDR and certainly since the end of Keynes' Bretton-Woods system under Nixon; they can not continue under pure capitalism, and require state intervention to survive. So, the only question is, will that socialism benefit the few, or the many?
Communism is properly defined as the post-capitalist era of humanity, meaning the abolition/obsolescence of capitalism, surplus value, paid labour, money, taxes, and therefore the state. So the idea that the state taxing people is communism, is a weird exaggeration and contradiction in terms. It can only be mere socialism.
Initially, this seemed very romantic and idealist; since non-material value (like the fact a person did a thing when alive, or held particular values dear) has by definition no commodity form of value, and therefore no convertibility to the money form of value, it therefore isn't subject to taxation. If so, it would seem to me that human civilization remains in its present medial form, between feudalism and leisure, completely unaffected by the estate tax rate of any jurisdiction.
However, upon re-reading it closely to reply here, then I realized my initial reading was a misunderstanding: As you go on to say in the text quoted below, your achievements in creating a typeface are to a large extent subject to that typeface being in continual use. The type history books are filled with 1,000s of designs that have never been digitized and have become extremely obscure. Proprietary software and fonts are by definition locked up behind very very long copyright terms, and that means, if the heirs to your estate don't figure out a way to keep these fonts available for use, they will fall out of use, and in a grim way, compared to if they remain in use, they cease to exist.
And I expect a downside you see with making the fonts in an estate libre upon the designer's passing, is with passing up the "potential" you state - by which I believe you mean, the potential for on-going economic-rents to accrue. I would be surprised to hear that such speculative pecuniary value is factored into any estate tax assessment, though.
Perhaps this is, then, the upside, to leaving the OFL release of fonts in a Will: Everyone in the world is at liberty to use, modify, redistribute, and modify+redistribute, the work. Then the answer to, who would continue it, is answered with, anyone who wants to, including the users themselves.
(During some extended time-off paternity-leave benefit from my employer this year, I returned to the work of an author and polemicist whose work I much admired and influenced me when I was studying the MATD, 2007-2008; John Taylor Gatto, an arch USA school critic. He concludes one of his essays: "After a long life and 30 years in the public school trenches, I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.")
I have no experience with this, but if you really mean you would expect the title to the work to be transferred to the state, I would really be surprised to learn that is how estate taxes work - in any jurisdiction. Rather, in the probate process the value of the estate is assessed, and if there is not enough liquid capital to pay the taxes due, then the executors will liquidate capital, until there is.
So really I think the question here is, how would the value of the copyrights to typefaces be assessed in probate? I guess, if you run your business as a LLC or LTD or whatever your local corporate shell form is called, then the copyrights are owned by the company, and the company has equity represented as shares that are reported annually in the company tax returns, and so the money form of value of the typefaces becomes bound up in the money form of value of the company equity, and your estate would include the number of shares you own. Based on the publication of such returns by type foundries in jurisdictions like the UK, I understand the value of such companies is rather low - and likely below the UK threshold for estate tax. So, no liquidation
If you really want to (legally!) minimize estate taxes, though, then you set up a trust, and transfer the title of various capital, including things like real estate, to the trust, before you pass, so that those things aren't part of the estate.