Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law
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Play director quits over dispute with writer's estate

A major part of estate planning in Saint Charles is choosing an executor. Such a decision should not be taken lightly, as an executor assumes a complex job that may test their capabilities and even require a lifelong commitment. This is especially true in cases involving estate that count intellectual and artistic properties amongst their assets. Others may want to try and utilize such properties in other works in the future. This requires an executor to oversee the use of these assets, or more importantly, prevent their perceived misuse. 

It was just such a difference of perception that led to the recent departure of the man set to direct an upcoming revival of a play penned by renowned American artist Arthur Miller. The director had cast an African-American actor in one of the play's central roles and then set about hiring an actress of the same race to portray his sister. However, Miller's daughter (who manages his estate) disagreed with the casting. Her issue was not that the director chose to seek black actors to fill these roles itself, but rather that the context of the play would make such casting seem historically inaccurate. Having already auditioned several African-American actresses for the role, the director felt he had little choice but to quit the production in order to preserve his reputation. 

Making estate-related decisions such as these may be difficult, which is why the one chosen to be executor be a person that the testator has complete confidence in. Anyone needing assistance in making this decision may find the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney to be quite beneficial. 

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