You and the Law – 30th June 2009

Rock ‘n’ Royalties

In the 1960’s my husband was a member of a pop group.  I was wondering what happens to the royalties, especially since he has now died. CI

If you haven’t already done so you should apply to the Performer Registration Centre (part of Phonographic Performance Ltd, or PPL) on 0207-534 1234.

Since 1996, performers (and in your case their beneficiaries) have had an individual right to receive a share of the revenue earned whenever the recordings on which they performed are broadcast or played in public.

The gross revenue from the use of sound recordings is currently around £100 million a year, of which half goes to the record companies and the other half to the artists.

Gone walkabout

My mother left her house to my sister and I, stipulating in her Will that it must not be sold as long as my sister was living abroad, since it was still her home.
My sister has now gone to live and study in Australia, with a possibility of extending the stay for a further three years, but refuses to sell the house even though she has little income and no prospect of buying out my share.

Where do I stand as sole executor and also as a beneficiary? It doesn’t seem right that she can hold us to ransom. PG

Badly drawn Wills cause endless problems, and this looks like a home-made one. You’re in a difficult situation unless you can get your sister to change her mind.

It costs quite a bit to keep a house up together.  I suggest you send your sister as many bills as possible for her to pay her share, and if she doesn’t, tell her that the money must come out of any proceeds she will receive from the eventual sale of the house.

The alternative is to ask the court for direction.  But since the intention of the will is evidently to keep the house for your sister I think the outcome would at best be uncertain.

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