Developing estate plans in New York is oftentimes not high on people’s priority lists. However, creating wills is extremely important for protecting one’s assets. This is especially true for those who have valuable collectibles and art they wish to protect.

Researchers in a report last year revealed that over 80 percent of people who collect art consider their artwork collections to be investments. However, many collectors with high-net-worth items do not plan adequately for their investments to be distributed one day. Creating an estate plan is the only way to guarantee that one’s collectibles will end up in the intended hands.

One way of distributing personal property that has been collected is to leave it to heirs or to donate it to charitable organizations. Either way, estate laws and a special tax will apply. Asset owners who ignore these laws may end up forcing their heirs to pay heavy capital gains taxes. There could also be estate tax or income penalties, or the market value of an asset may end up depreciating. On the topic of market value, it may behoove an asset owner to obtain an appraisal for each of his or her valuable collectibles while he or she is still alive, as this might help to prevent disagreement about the collectibles’ values among the asset owner’s surviving loved ones.

Developing comprehensive wills can understandably be complicated and overwhelming. However, bypassing it may be costly for both asset owners and their desired beneficiaries. Fortunately, an attorney in New York can walk asset owners through the estate planning process to ensure that their wishes are upheld long term.

Source: wtop.com, “How to include valuable art and collectibles in your estate plan“, Dawn Doebler, May 30, 2018