Art Collector Disappointed Her Kids Don’t want her Collection: Makes Backup Plan
A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed how estate plans protect art collections. The feature focused on a widowed woman with an art collection worth $250,000. The woman and her late husband traveled extensively and amassed the collectibles over a 50-year time frame. Now in her 80s, she wants to make future plans for the valuable collection.
Upon her death, she would like her cherished art to pass to her two daughters. However, she discussed her desires with her children and discovered that they do not want the Asian art collection. She reluctantly came to grips with the reality of her art moving beyond the family. The Asian art aficionado requested that, if possible, the art assortment stays together and be sold to one collector.
This story, and countless others, highlight the importance and necessity of pre-planning for the inevitable with a clear estate plan.
Options for Art Collections
A New York Times piece focused on both the monetary and emotional worth attached to personal collections. Because of the later, many people avoid including their prized collections in any type of estate plan. This is a mistake.
A robust estate plan prevents confusion and often times costly estate taxes. An estate planning attorney can assist and plan for the proper disposition of your property, including art collections.
Here are some options for collectors and what to do with their treasured collections:
· Pass it on to family members – this seems to be a popular ‘default’ for most collectors. However, in some instances, it may be a good idea to discuss your desires with your family members, or those whom you wish to inherit your valuables. Not everyone has the same taste and may not want the collection.
· Sell it – as noted above, not all family members want to inherit collections. So, one option is to sell to a buyer with the same passion as the original collector.
· Donate it – some collectors opt to donate to a museum or their alma mater. This way, the collection can stay together, which is an important factor to many collectors.
An estate plan that clearly incorporates all your desires, including how and where you want your collection to be dispersed, is central to avert any future issues.
NY Estate Planning
It is important for everyone to make an estate plan. When valuables, such as special art collections, are involved, it is imperative to create a plan and entertain a ‘fallback plan’ as well. Discuss and make proper arrangements for the disposition of belongings with an experienced estate planning attorney.