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Daughters file suit regarding 'Soft Kitty' nursery school song

A few weeks ago, we discussed how important it is to select the right trustee to manage your assets in case you are incapacitated or to honor your wishes after you are gone. Choosing executors and trustees is definitely important, but so is leaving those individuals all the tools and information they need to protect your legacy and divide your assets according to your wishes. One recent story, involving a lawsuit, a children's song and a famous television show, illustrates this point well.

The lawsuit involves the daughters of a former nursery school teacher who also wrote a song. The song, which was published in a collection of songs for use in daycare settings, was called "Warm Kitty." Allegedly, the lyrics match the infamous "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty" ditty that is often sung to Dr. Sheldon Cooper in television's "The Big Bang Theory."

Court documents show that the lawsuit claims the television show didn't seek proper permission to use the lyrics. The show reportedly sought permission from the publisher of the book that included the song. The heirs of the song's author allege that the publisher did not purchase full rights to the lyrics, so the company did not have the right to come to a deal in the matter.

Reportedly, the television show and production company made no deal with the heirs. The heirs are basing their case on the fact that they own the copyright to the work. That matter is still to be decided by a court, but the fact that one of the heirs only discovered the matter when doing her own research is an important point for individuals everywhere. By being as detailed as you can in estate planning and probate matters, you can save your heirs unnecessary litigation or provide them with the platform to protect your legacy through litigation.

Source: The Celebrity Cafe, "‘Big Bang Theory’ lullaby ‘Soft Kitty’ targeted by New Hampshire poet’s heirs in lawsuit," Daniel S. Levine, Dec. 29, 2015

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