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The fine art of fine art management

Jan Leonard //June 22, 2012//

The fine art of fine art management

Jan Leonard //June 22, 2012//

Collectors can spend much of their lives amassing items that not only bring personal enjoyment, but may increase significantly in value over time. Whether it’s fine artwork, collectibles, memorabilia or rare objects, these are items that need to be regarded as important personal assets. Much like stocks and bonds, these tangible assets are an important component of a comprehensive estate plan.

However, this asset class is the most overlooked and, as a result, is not given the careful attention needed to help preserve value and ensure safekeeping for the long-term. Working with an expert team will ensure that fine tangible assets will receive the deserved attention during their lifetime and beyond.

Identify and protect tangible assets

Fine art management experts can assist individuals with identifying valuable items that should be evaluated to help preserve, and in some cases, maximize worth. Many people may not understand the true value of their fine art objects or the processes needed to protect them. In addition to identifying financially significant pieces, a trusted advisor can also provide counsel on valuation, insurance, storage and other very specialized services that may be important in maintaining worth.

Organize and document assets 

Another critical component is proper documentation and cataloguing. Having a professional who can help record the history as well as provide a comprehensive inventory of all pieces is crucial in maintaining value. Much like a museum systematically inventories their assets, individuals should work with a firm who can provide the same level of service and system support for their collection. This will enable owners to make updates as pieces are added or removed and provides an easily managed, and often enjoyed, comprehensive report. Having a detailed account, including where and how each piece was obtained, can make a significant difference in individual item and overall valuation.

Customize a plan for the unexpected 

Additionally, it is extremely important that individuals consider these items in the estate planning process. This allows the owner to truly consider how he or she would like to have these assets distributed when the time comes. Will they be gifted to a museum, a family member or a non-profit? Will these objects be liquidated so the funds can be passed on to beneficiaries? Who will handle the logistical details and actual distribution? These can be complicated and confusing areas to traverse. However, a fine art management professional can help address and execute these strategies and plans, which will not only benefit the owner, but the recipients as well.

Be proactive and plan now

The sooner an individual begins this process, the sooner they will reap the benefits. Owners of valuable collectibles, memorabilia, art and so on have much to gain by exploring these options. Establishing a thoughtful and well-planned legacy ensures beloved items will be expertly managed both now and in the future.