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Art is a Treasure Until You Must Pay for It, Again!

Art collectionThe more valuable an art collection gets, the tougher it is to create an estate plan for it. If you are not careful, your heirs might end up with a tax bill that they cannot afford to pay.

Children do not always have the same interests as their parents. A collection that the parents love is often something that their children have little or no interest in. Most of the time this creates few issues. If, for example, the parents collect old issues of National Geographic, the children can easily dispose of them after the parents pass away without consequence.

However, an art collection is different because works of art can be extremely valuable.

As the New York Times points out in "Estate Planning Can Get Tricky When Art Is Concerned," art collections require very careful estate planning. The biggest issue is that art is illiquid. If the estate tax is due, then the heirs have to come up with cash to pay it. This requires them to use other estate assets or to sell the art.

Unfortunately, it is not always quick or easy to sell art, and heirs who have little interest in art are often taken advantage of by professional dealers. The good news is that tax authorities will often accept low values for art collections as the true market value is difficult to assess.

If you have an art collection, it is extremely important that you have an estate plan for it. The last thing you want to do is just leave it to your heirs to figure it out. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney to navigate these waters.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

Reference: New York Times (October 1, 2015) "Estate Planning Can Get Tricky When Art Is Concerned."

 

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The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.