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Reasons to include art in an estate plan

Florida residents who collect art generally do so because they enjoy it. They may also do so because they hope or expect that their collection will increase in value over time. In most cases, they plan on buying a piece and holding it until their death. However, art collectors may not necessarily account for their holdings when creating an estate plan.

One way to handle an art collection is to transfer ownership while alive to a corporate entity. This may remove the need for probate while also answering questions about who owns the art after the collector dies. In many cases, collectors are unsure who to give their collection to after they pass, which may increase the odds for conflicts among family members. It may also be worthwhile to donate art to a museum or similar entity after the original owner passes away.

Taking steps to establish ownership of a given piece may also be ideal. This may be done by keeping a bill of sale or including insurance information with other estate plan documents. Taking care to include an art collection as part of an overall estate plan may be smart from a tax perspective as well. Holding art in the estate itself may result in higher tax bills for future generations.

There are many tools that may be used for estate planning purposes. For instance, it may be possible to hold assets outside of an estate in a trust. Using a trust may help an estate avoid probate as it owns the property as opposed to the decedent. An attorney can explain the different types of trusts as well as other options a person may have to create an ideal estate plan.