New York residents with significant art collections may want to think about the estate planning process. While there’s often a significant financial value in art investments, most buyers develop a collection due to aesthetic and personal tastes. As such, a collector may think of their artwork as a treasure to enjoy during life rather than a legacy to handle as part of an estate plan. However, when one does not make advance decisions about what to do with their collection after death, they may leave behind serious problems for their family.
In some cases, family members may have to handle higher estate taxes when a significant art collection is involved. In other cases, disputes about how to divide the art among several interested parties may lead to rifts among loved ones or even legal problems. By making a plan in advance, collectors can help to ease the tax burden and provide a smooth disposition of their accumulated artworks. While it can be confusing and even overwhelming to make decisions about each piece of art, the planning process can give collectors peace of mind for the future.
There are a number of options that people can choose to handle their art collections. They can create corporations to handle the artwork and avoid probate, arrange a charitable donation for the collection or create trusts to allow works to be passed to other family members and loved ones. The planning process can also include gathering all important documentation.
When art collectors think about the future, they can turn to an estate planning lawyer for advice and guidance. An attorney can help a collector document their collection and develop a unique plan that helps them to transmit their accumulated works to the next generation.