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Art collections could present estate planning difficulties

Over a person's lifetime, they might start to collect things that are of interest to them. This might include cars, boats, silver spoons, or modern artwork. Whatever a person's collecting passion might lead them to buy, it is important that people properly inventory and value their belongings. Not only is this a wise decision for security and insurance reasons, but it might help a person plan their estate.

While two separate collections might seem priceless to a person and they may hope that their family will never sell the collections they inherit, the collections can still have very different market values if they are sold. A collection of modern art might be far more valuable on the right day than a collection of silver spoons. For one family member to inherit all of a parent's silver spoons when their sibling gets far more valuable artwork might seem unfair.

Although being unfair might not be the parent's intent, the artwork and spoons might all be sold off, leaving one child with a far larger share of a parent's estate. While many people get their collections appraised for insurance values, it might also be wise to have items appraised that are antique or part of a desirable collection before making an estate plan. This will help the person understand the total value of their estate and fairly gift certain items to their children.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help a person understand which estate planning document are most useful for their situation, and help ensure that all documents are made properly to fulfill the person's wishes.

Source: CNBC, "Art Boom Forces Wealth Advisers to Develop an Eye," Astrid Riecken, Feb. 14, 2013

-Our law firm handles wills in New Jersey. Please visit our website to learn more.

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