What to do when a Performer Dies

When a performer dies please contact Patricia Lanca at ACTRA PRS as soon as possible via email or call 416-489-1311, ext. 5022. ACTRA PRS will make arrangement to  send the appropriate forms for completion and  advise if further  documentation is required.

ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society (AFBS) must also be notified as well as any other union or benefit provider the performer may have been associated with. The AFBS contact is Vivienne Coelho at or 416-967-6600 ext. 245. 

Supporting original documentation confirming that the performer is deceased must be provided to both ACTRA PRS and AFBS.

Administration Fees

ACTRA PRS charges an administration fee on all residual payments made to performers pursuant to the Independent Production Agreement (IPA).

These fees are as follows:

Member Category Administration Fee Admin Fee after death
Full Active Members 5% 5%
Non-members 25% 25%
Suspended Members 25% 5%
Withdrawn Members 25% 5%
Resigned Members 25% 5%
Apprentice Members 25% 25%
Permitee Members 25% 25%

Make a Will or Trust

Residuals are considered the property of the performer and are payable for as long as their work is exhibited somewhere in the world. As property, residuals can be inherited by the performer’s benefactor(s) though a last Will and Testament and/or living Trust.

To ensure that residuals continue to be properly disbursed, it is suggested that performers make specific provisions for them by way of a Will or a Trust.

  • If a performer chooses to “split” his or her residuals among more than one beneficiary the performer may designate a “Nominee”;
  • If multiple beneficiaries are named in a will or trust and a performer has not named a Nominee, all beneficiaries must come to an agreement of who is named the Nominee;
  • The Nominee will be responsible for sharing the residuals among the other beneficiaries.

PLEASE NOTE: A nomination is not an interest in property and does not transfer upon death. If the Nominee is no longer able to accept residual payments and distribute them either due to his (or her) own death or incapacity, the original beneficiaries must choose a new Nominee. To avoid this difficulty, it is certainly possible to choose a bank, a trust company or a similar corporation to act as a Nominee and distribute the residuals accordingly.


If a performer directs the payment of their residuals to a corporation upon their death, residuals will continue to be paid to that corporation until the corporation is dissolved or until ACTRA PRS is directed otherwise by the Estate.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I designate a beneficiary for my residuals prior to my death?

You cannot designate a beneficiary in advance of your death but you can give a Letter of Direction to ACTRA PRS to pay your residuals to another person or organization. If your last will and testament sets out a different beneficiary than indicated in the Letter of Direction provided to ACTRA PRS, the last Will and  Testament will supersede the Letter of Direction.

2. As a beneficiary, are there any benefits (other than residuals) payable to me when a performer dies?

There are no other benefits payable through ACTRA PRS: however, you should contact AFBS usingthe contact information noted above.

3. What if a performer dies without a last Will & Testament or a Trust?

Contact ACTRA PRS using the contact information noted above for further instructions.

4. As a beneficiary, am I entitled to residuals even if the deceased performer was not a member of ACTRA?

Yes. Residuals continue for as long as the performer’s property/performance(s) continue to be exhibited somewhere in the world. Contact ACTRA PRS to obtain the proper documentation and further instruction.