Estate Planning For Owners, Investors And Creators Of Art (Part 1)

When it comes to the world of art, its value goes beyond simple aesthetics or price. Art realizes a legacy for artists, collectors, investors, and dealers as well as for their loved ones. Stories of individuals such as James Gandolfini, James Brown, and Doris Duke serve as cautionary tales of what can happen when there is inadequate estate planning for art.

The care and responsibility for art includes physical, financial, and legal aspects. There are rational and emotional considerations when it comes to art, calling for attention to detail when it comes to estate planning.

Navigating The Complexities Of Art In Estate Planning

Art collections are typically very personal and tie into the life journey of the person who collected it. Together with the volatility and lack of transparency of the art market, the handling of these assets after one’s passing can be very complicated. It is important to balance emotional, financial, and legal considerations as best as possible.

In this post I will share a few strategies for success when it comes to estate planning for art, and next week I will write about tax implications and the role of valuation.

Strategies For Success

Planning for art assets should begin with detailed documentation as well as clear understanding of the art collection’s valuation and legal position. You will want to make sure that the objectives of everyone involved (such as loved ones, prospective owners, and institutions) are aligned when it comes to the strategy that will be implemented for managing the art collection.

If some of the artwork is to be sold through auction, private treaty, or consignment, take time to weigh the pros and cons and consider the legal nuances of the options available. Auctions may mean greater visibility and competitive bids, but this may also mean more risks and lack of certainty. On the other hand, private treaty sales and transactions through a dealer can mean greater control but may also mean a more time-consuming completion process.

For help with your estate plan, contact us at Wilson and Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC at 708 482 7090 for our main office in LaGrange, Illinois or at 847 656 8958 for our Northbrook, Illinois office.