Three Estate Planning Changes to Consider If You Start Collecting Art

You’ve taken up a new hobby: Art collecting. You love going to art auctions and pursuing private sales, so that you can collect unique pieces of art that are not only valuable but also exquisite. But lately, you have been wondering what will happen to this artwork when you die.

You Have Options

Sometimes, art collectors choose to do nothing to protect their collections. This means the collection will likely be managed by an executor, and that person will have little direction or guidance about how to handle it. The collection could be distributed to family members who don’t share your passion for art.

Because you can leave your art collection, in whole or in parts, to any person or charity you name, you may feel more secure, and gain more tax efficiency, by defining guidelines and naming beneficiaries. So, it is important to consider options such as:

  • Charitable remainder trusts. You may leave the entire collection or specific pieces of art to a museum, college, or other charitable organization.
  • A family trust. This may also have tax benefits as long as the artwork is kept in the family and not sold.
  • Specific bequests. You may leave the entire art collection, or specific pieces, to individuals or organizations in your will.

The decision is yours to make. It is your art collection, and you have the right to bequest it any way you want. However, your new art collection may require you to make modifications to your existing estate plan. The time to consider those changes is now, so that you can be confident your prized pieces of art are distributed according to your wishes when you are gone.

Please share this article on Facebook or with any group of art collectors to which you may belong, so that more art collectors can understand the importance of making changes to their estate plan when their art collection grows.