My father passed away without a will. He has some unpublished books that I'd like to publish. However as a will does not exist, I am not sure how the copyright or ownership of the intellectual property (books) passes on. My mother and sister do not have any objections to it. However, we're not clear on how the intellectual estate passes on from my father to us i.e. do we all jointly own it equally or does it automatically pass on to our mother? Is there something I should get in writing from them before I publish his works? How does the royalty and tax get divided if I am publishing the work?

1 Answer 1


Intellectual property is just personal property

It follows the same rules as everything else that isn’t real estate. In India, the religion of the deceased determines who the heirs are.

  • I understand. Whats unclear though is whether we need to go through the probate process to actually have the rights assigned to us or is this something that needs to be sorted out if/when we need to produce proof of copyright to a publisher?
    – Null
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 6:46
  • @Null The probate process is needed anytime someone dies with property that they own without a death beneficiary.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 16:12

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