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How to Incorporate Art in Your Estate Plan

Aug 18 2016

Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

Avid art connoisseurs know the importance of collecting rather than investing. However, collecting valuable art does not automatically ensure your loved ones will appreciate it as much in the future as you do in the present. Thus, it is vital to consider who will find value in your art when you are no longer around.

Art is something that is very difficult to value for estate planning purpose. The value of the artwork depends on whether you plan to use it or give it to charitable organizations. If you plan to use your art, American law allows charitable art collectors to put their pieces in institutions for a portion of the year and receive a deduction based on the piece’s value. However, the collector must give the art away within 10 years or at death—whichever comes first. Likewise, if you are gifting a Rembrandt to one of your children during your lifetime or as part of your estate plan, professional specialists say it is better for the art to be valued as low as possible. Therefore, while planning for art in your estate is complicated, the moral of the story is that just like all of your other assets, if you enjoy collecting art it is essential to make plans during your lifetime for these prized possessions for when you are no longer around.

Lacey Township Lawyer | Art | Estate Planning