Art collectors are notorious for acquiring artwork, but not selling them. For art collectors, their art pieces are extremely special and personal- not expendable. Because of this, when an art collector passes, he/she leaves his/her collections behind. However, most art collectors fail to address their collections in their estate plan. Like other assets,“failing to plan for the disposition of collections upon death can prove quite costly to the family, as there is the potential to having to pay higher estate taxes.” There is also the problem of the division of the artwork, which can result in family tensions.
The biggest mistake made by the art collectors is the lack of preparation and the cycle of procrastination. For example, because art is so personal, many collectors struggle deciding what pieces to give to which family members and charities. Because of this, many art collectors procrastinate because they don’t want to make these tough decisions. However, this isn’t a mistake only common with art collectors when developing an estate plan. Procrastination seems to be a common trend, regardless of professions and hobbies, when preparing an estate plan.
In regards to art collectors, a proper estate plan is essential. However, a proper estate plan doesn’t only address the artwork. There should also be files of ownership, such as certificates of bills, certificates of authenticity and bills of sale. This needs to be done to avoid questions of provenance and ownership.
All in all, estate plans need to be specific and include all assets to avoid any confusion about the dispersion upon death. Waiting until the last minute to create an estate plan will only result in more stress, frustration and controversy. If you are in need of an estate plan, Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC is offering a special deal of a $400 flat fee for a simple will and three advance directives (a durable power of attorney, a health care surrogate designation and a living will). If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, feel free to contact Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC.