Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC - estate planning
Tell Us About Your Case

For the safety of our community, clients and staff, we have suspended all in-person meeting effective March 17, 2020. All consultation meetings will be via Phone or Zoom Video Conferencing. Please contact us at 925-484-0888 or email us directly at [email protected] to schedule the consultation.

Bay Area Estate And Tax Planning Law Firm
Estate Planning
Trust Administration and probate

Warhol’s Fawcett paintings not quite out of the news yet

| Apr 23, 2019 | Estate Litigation |

Whither the Warhols?

Artist and trend setter Andy Warhol likely perceived that two select paintings he did of another iconic individual back in 1980 would still command great attention nearly four decades later. It is unlikely, though, that he could remotely envision why.

The spotlight on two Warhol paintings of Farrah Fawcett might reasonably come with an attached query, namely this: Who owns them?

That question is still centrally on the minds of many people, even though a jury weighed in definitively on the point back in 2013. Following is some relevant background concerning the portraits.

First, Fawcett bequeathed her artwork to the college she once attended. The University of Texas is specifically entitled to receive it pursuant to the terms of her will.

The school did in fact get one of the portraits.

But not the other, which Fawcett’s long-time partner and fellow actor Ryan O’Neal has steadfastly claimed belongs to him. In fact, the jury saw it that way, being convinced by O’Neal’s argument that Warhol gave him one of the paintings to own and that, ergo, it was never Fawcett’s property to bequeath.

Reportedly, O’Neal now seeks to sell the painting, which could fetch close to $20 million — or far more. Fawcett’s alma mater has asserted rights to it based on the bequest in her will. However, and as noted above, that argument is not backed by any specific reference to the paintings in the will, and is coupled with the fact that O’Neal has always possessed the portrait.

There is unquestionably an instructive takeaway point to be noted from the story, and it is this: If property is important/valuable and likely to feature in an estate disposition, it should be specifically referenced and accurately identified in a will.


FindLaw Network

Recent Blog Post

Is estate planning necessary for young people?

Misconceptions exist about the relationship between age and estate planning. Yes, older people may prioritize estate planning for reasons related to advancing age and health concerns. That does not mean only older California residents benefit from the process. Young...

What are the responsibilities of a fiduciary?

Residents of California may want to learn more about the role of the fiduciary and their responsibilities. Because fiduciary duty may be a requirement among certain professions, clients and professionals should know more about what this is. The meaning of fiduciary...

5 factors to consider when choosing a guardian

For parents, one of the biggest reasons they decide to create an estate plan is to ensure their child will be cared for no matter what. It isn’t easy to think about a tragedy where a child may lose both their parents before they turn 18, but parents have to plan for...

View More Blog Posts