Art and collectibles as part of an estate plan

When it comes to creating a holistic estate plan, one challenge that Arizonans face is accurately identifying and valuating their assets. One reason this issue arises is that, over the course of a lifetime, an individual may simply forget about some of the assets that he or she has accumulated. With regard to valuation, certain items can be difficult to put a price on, which may make it difficult to determine how to distribute it upon one’s death, as well as how heirs should handle it once received.

This circumstance is especially true when it comes to art and collectibles. Executors and heirs can disagree over the fair market value of a piece of art or a collectible, such as a rare coin or jewelry, leading to disputes that could turn litigious. This, in turn, can delay the distribution of an estate and be quite costly.

To avoid this, estate planners are encouraged to do a few things. First, they should get the item appraised by a few different professionals, perhaps even at different times, to give a clearer sense of the item’s range of value based on market conditions. Second, it may prove beneficial to name certain appraisers and/or auction houses in estate planning documents so that heirs and beneficiaries know where they can take the item to hopefully obtain its estimated value.

There are a number of other considerations to take into account when it comes to collectibles and art. Taxes, for example, can play an important part in how these items are handled. Those who want to get a clearer sense of how best to deal with these matters may want to consider speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney who can help guide them through the process with the estate’s best interests in mind.