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Comedian’s will to prevent production of further film sequels

Most Florida residents know that a will is used by the testator to indicate precisely how their estate should be taken care of after their death. However, a will can also be used for other specific instructions as well. It can, for example, indicate precisely how the testator’s image and voice can be used after they are gone. Recently, one famous comedian’s will was used to reinforce his wishes in this exact area.

Recently, it was revealed that the late comedian/actor Robin Williams’ will contained specific language about the use of his image and voice. According to a former executive from Walt Disney, Williams’ will states that the Disney Company may not use Williams’ name, voice or any taped performances of his for a period of 25 years after his death.

The executive stated that Disney was considering making a fourth film in their successful ‘Aladdin’ franchise. And even though Williams died in 2014, the comedian had recorded a lot of jokes and dialogue over the course of the first three movies that wound up not being used. Disney personnel believed that there was enough of Williams’ dialogue to create another movie. However, the instructions in Williams’ will were very specific and put an end to the project.

It is believed that Williams’ put such as clause in his will to protect his wife and three children. If Disney had gone ahead and completed the film, it’s possible that the comedian’s estate could have incurred tax penalties due to earnings made after Williams’ death.

A will can include very specific language that can help protect the testator and his or her estate. Any Florida resident who is considering creating a will as part of their estate plan may want to speak with an estate planning attorney in order to find out the benefits of this estate planning tool.

Source: pagesix.com, “Robin Williams’ will prevents use of outtakes for Aladdin sequel“, November 8, 2015

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