1. Have you defined the artist’s “legacy identity,” i.e. the ethos, heart, soul, meaning and all other facets of the artist? Their music, their message, their writings, their creation (in all media), what they stand for, what they believe, what issues or causes they supported or, perhaps more importantly, what they did not support, with whom/what they were involved?
  2. Have you identified what, in their oeuvre, has the deepest resonance with the public, with their fans, and with potential new fans?
  3. Who creates, and then drives the overall plan, if one exists, for the advancement and protection of the artist’s legacy? Who, if anyone, counsels the estate and/or their legal representatives in formulating and executing such a plan?
  4. Is your default answer to a licensing, merchandising or other request yes or no? Does the estate simply field requests and queries, or does it attempt to leverage the artist’s brand or identity to serve a long-term agenda?
  5. Are you well-versed in IP (“Intellectual Property”) rights, both domestically and internationally? Do you have a strong, up-to-date working knowledge of differing rights, clearances and licenses? Do you have a full understanding of, and know the difference between, ephemeral rights, fair-use rights, rights of publicity, survivorship, name and likeness, copyrights, master, sync, performance, mechanical and grand rights?
  6. Is someone in your organization adept at getting all decision-makers associated with the artist’s estate on the same page and working together in a united front, especially when time is of the essence?
  7. Are you equipped to coordinate tight timelines between attorneys, agents, record company executives, music publishing reps, book publishers, merchandising companies, marketing firms, broadcast, print and online media, film/TV music supervisors, publicists, and other entities; “with the understanding that every element in every campaign must mesh with the others, and that, left to their own devices, these people will look after their own interests, and not necessarily those of the artist’s?
  8. Are you well versed in the ownership, location and condition of all assets associated with the artist, including but not limited to: copyrights and trademarks (and in which territories worldwide), master recordings, publishing assets, photographic, film and video archives, manuscripts and memorabilia?
  9. Are you prepared to tell the story of the artist in detail, and at the same time, to control that story? Do you have the resources at your command to accomplish this?
  10. Do you have contacts in the film, television and theatrical worlds to help create and/or produce a high-quality documentary, theatrical play and/or musical, biopic, or feature narrative film?
  11. Do you have a thorough understanding of and familiarity with the composition and demographic breakdown of the artist’s existing fan base? Do you know how best to find them, communicate with them, and serve them?
  12. Have you identified ways to significantly expand the artist’s audience and reach new, younger fans without alienating the old ones or otherwise damaging the credibility of the artist?
  13. Are you capable of launching a release, whether a recording, book, film, TV show or other project, and overseeing all facets of its production, distribution, marketing, promotion and publicity?
  14. Have you developed a new media strategy that serves the integrity of the artist’s brand, adequately promotes new and ongoing projects, and is a robust interactive forum for fans?
  15. Is your “mothership” website supported by the appropriate social media satellites? Do you have a complete, standalone digital “back end” vending site to pick, pack, process and ship merchandise, CDs, DVDs, apparel, books, and other products?
  16. Have you leveraged mobile, digital and social media licensing deals that benefit the artist’s agenda, not just the vendors’?
  17. Do you have sufficient international relationships to initiate, coordinate and track projects in territories all over the world?
  18. Have you identified the “super fans”that can be recruited to help advance the artist’s legacy?
  19. Under what circumstances, if any, would you agree to lend the artist’s work or likeness to a video game, online interactive venue or a film/TV project?
  20. Do you have a coordinated, long-term plan for the dissemination of previously unreleased material as well as new releases comprised of older material? What are your criteria for which material is suitable for public consumption and how best to organize, package, market and promote it?