Estate planning is critical for art collectors

When people discuss the future of their estates, assets such as real estate and businesses are often the first things considered. For many art collectors, however, some of the most valuable items to consider might be hanging on their walls. While many Alberta art collectors take great pride in their collections in life, they often neglect to properly consider them in estate planning.

The result of not creating proper estate plans for valuable items such as an art collection can have many consequences for a family. One of the most common problems when someone neglects estate planning is conflict and litigation resulting from disagreement over the division of this property. There may also be differing opinions as to whether the collection should be divided amongst beneficiaries or kept together to maintain its aesthetic or cultural value.

Another issue can arise in the valuation of the collection itself. Alberta art collectors should ensure that files of ownership are kept, ensuring that during probate or estate litigation it is clear who the art belonged to. These files should also have certificates of authenticity, bills of sale and insurance records. These papers will help resolve any questions of provenance.

Many Alberta art collectors have amassed personal wealth that will bring up a multitude of estate planning questions and concerns. Options vary a great deal for these individuals; some leave assets to charity, while others divide them amongst family members and loved ones. Regardless of personal choices like these, working with a lawyer on all estate planning documents is critical to ensure assets are dealt with in the desired way.

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