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A special estate planning focus: valued family art collections

The benefits of sound estate planning are many.

And the greatest of all, we stress on our Bay Area estate administration and tax planning website, is protection.

By that, we mean the confidence inspired in both a planner and heirs when important matters related to finances, health care, property, heirlooms and more are dealt with in a timely and proactive way. A carefully crafted plan featuring input from an experienced attorney can address wealth transfer, lawful tax avoidance, family legacy matters, trust creation, charitable giving and many additional key points.

For some families, notes a recent Forbes article addressing estate planning, a focal point in planning might stress the future treatment of a valuable art collection.

Granted, not everyone has one of those, but some families do. And where that is the case, it can be tremendously important to timely craft a viable strategy regarding disposition.

Put another way: Procrastinating until it's too late can breed family discord, litigation and painful tax consequences.

The Forbes piece notes that it is "surprisingly common" for wealthy individuals and families with extensive art collections to inadequately deal with that art in their estate plans. Many collectors are "extremely focused on acquiring and not very interested in disposing of art."

When that is the case (when artwork is not designated for specific heirs or placed into a protective trust, for example), it might just come out in the probate wash, which can be messy, time-consuming, pricey and public.

That scenario can be avoided for a planner who works together with a tested legal professional.

An experienced estate planning lawyer with a complementary background in tax planning can provide further information.

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