The Questions An Art Collector Should Ask Themselves For Estate Planning


Do your heirs or your charitable institutions share your love for your art? For example, you may not want to have the collection sold or warehoused in a museum. Can federal and state taxes be minimized? You need to determine where you want the collection to go, and when, in order to be able to calculate the cost (both administrative and tax) to get it there. Planning adequately will protect your beneficiaries from undue tax burdens.

Consider reducing the tax burden during lifetime and at death by making charitable gifts during your lifetime. Requirements exist and the laws are complex. The formalities of gifting, if that is the route you choose, must be supported with proper documentation, otherwise the gift will not withstand compliance review by the IRS.

Ultimately, law and liquidity will control your art legacy. Aside from the ever present details of federal and state taxes, appraisals, deductions and exclusions and so on, estate planning is also about communication. Most people put off discussing their legacy because it can be an emotional process. Who really wants to say goodbye? However, decisions about where the art will go need to be identified and quantified, and most importantly…communicated.

Peter J. May, JD, LLM, CFP®
Independent Wealth Advisor