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How to protect artwork's value in estate planning

When Florida residents plan their estates, their primary concerns are usually making sure that they can preserve assets for their families and friends and perhaps to make bequests to charities they support. These assets can come in the form of money, real estate or other investments, but often the assets that really concern people are pieces of artwork.

As any viewer of the television program the "Antiques Roadshow" can attest, some artwork that has been kept in the family can grow enormously in value over the years. On the flip side, the same viewers can attest, that the artwork will have merely sentimental value.

When drafting estate planning documents, it can be a good idea to have a handle on the value of one's artwork. When art owners have the work appraised, they can put the appraisal amount in their estate planning documents so that their heirs and beneficiaries will have a good idea of its estimated worth at the time they receive it.

Also, because provenance is such an important concept to art collectors, it can be important to document how the artwork entered the estate. Some collectors keep receipts for artwork, letters related to its purchase, or even photographs of themselves with the artist. Some collectors like to attach these materials to a painting's frame or some other spot attached to the work itself.

There are many details to consider in estate planning. An estate planning attorney can help Florida residents who are hoping to keep assets, such as artwork in the family, or just to make sure that their prized possessions are treated with respect after they are gone.

Source: Florida Today, "Wise to know value of your artwork," Pam Harbaugh, Sept. 27, 2013

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