Explanation of Disbursement of Residual Payments After Death
This notice describes the residual compensation payable to you under the Writers Guild of America Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement (“MBA”), as well as your right to select a beneficiary or beneficiaries to receive such compensation upon your death. Your residuals will be disbursed pursuant to the terms of your will (or trust document) or under intestacy law if you do not have a will, as well as under the terms of community property as may apply.
Residual Compensation. Residuals are compensation paid for the reuse of a credited writer’s work. When you receive credit on produced, Guild-covered material, you are entitled to compensation if the material is reused beyond its initial exhibition. Generally, this means that if there is reuse of your theatrical motion picture in a market other than the theatrical market, or if your television project is reused in any market after its initial broadcast, you will receive residual compensation. In 1977, the Guild negotiated for the member’s right to receive residual compensation in perpetuity. As a result, even after your death, you will continue to receive residual compensation if your material is reused.
Residuals for Deceased Members
Upon the death of a writer or the beneficiary of a deceased writer, the Membership Administrator and/or the Residuals Administrator should be notified as soon as possible.
The Guild will need the name, address, and telephone number of the person to be contacted for follow-up procedures necessary to expedite the transfer of residual payments to the correct beneficiary(ies).
Additionally, in order to facilitate the continued payment of residuals to the beneficiary(ies), the Guild, and the paying Company if requested, should be furnished with an official (raised seal) Certificate of Death, Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, and a copy of the Last Will and Testament, if there is one.
Residuals for Deceased Members: What You Need
- Name, address, and telephone number of the follow-up contact
- Official (raised seal) Certificate of Death
- Letters of Testamentary or Letters of Administration
- A copy of the Last Will and Testament (if available)
For additional information, please contact the WGAE Residuals Administrator at (212) 767-7814 or the WGAW Estates/Trusts Desk at (323) 782-4700.
Note: Notification to the Pension Plan and Health Fund does not replace notification to the WGA Membership Department and/or the Residuals Estates/Trusts Desk.
In 1977, the Guild negotiated for the member’s right to receive residual compensation in perpetuity. As a result, even after your death, you will continue to receive residual compensation if your material is reused.