Introducing the SFWA Legacy Kit!

We know what you’re thinking. As soon as you saw that scary word—legacy—your brain turned left at Albuquerque and kept going:

“I’m too young to die!”[1]

“I’ll think about that tomorrow, because tomorrow is another day.”[2]

“Not now, Elaine. Not now! Can’t you see I’m talking to the Man?”[3]

The Legacy Kit was created in honor of Bud Webster, a driving force behind the SFWA Estates Program. It was written, researched, compiled, and produced by the members of the Legacy Committee: Jean Marie Ward, Jeanne Adams, and Erin Wilcox. It’s conceived as a way of helping SFWA members and writers from many fields prepare their estates before becoming eligible to have their names added to the SFWA Estate Project. But it should also prove useful well before any writer reaches their final happy ending. Turns out we often need the same documents and directives for the good things in life as well as the bad.

For instance, if your New York Times bestseller is optioned into a blockbuster film or TV series, they’ll want to see your contracts and establish the status of your rights to the work and all its characters. This kit will help. Say you snag that visiting professorship across the country or overseas. The people who’ll be taking care of your pets and property will need everything from deeds and leases to limited power of attorney.

Protecting your legacy doesn’t have to mean a grim end; it can just be practical. Especially in these times, the risk of calamity is always there. What if you need to travel for a family emergency? What if you’re incapacitated, unable to express your wishes to your caregivers? What if you pass away? Preparing your literary legacy to outlive you or simply be accessible to others when you are not is an important, and often daunting, task for many writers.

The Legacy Kit is an online guide that provides our members with a checklist of documents, sample inventories and tables, a layman’s glossary of important terms, and a variety of other resources to help you create your plans to protect your legacy. We hope it will enhance your successes, help you manage the business of life, and aid your friends and loved ones. Start digging into it here, with the full version of this introduction.

[1] Every Bugs Bunny cartoon ever produced.

[2] Gone with the Wind (1939)

[3] Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)