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How to Supplement the Protection of Collectible Art

Posted on: May 11th, 2017
mona lisaJust like any valuable asset, owners of art collections should take efforts to protect their investment. Art should be approached with an asset protection strategy unique from planning efforts for other assets. The preservation and resources needed to properly maintain collectibles pose distinctively different challenges and liabilities compared to real property, mutual funds, and assets outside of the art world.

In addition to the physical demands of art preservation, such as proper storage, transport, and display (with consideration to light and climate control), art collectors might also have sentimental attachments to pieces that they wish to convey to heirs. Depending on the collector’s wishes, they might bequeath a collection to surviving family, a museum, charitable organization, or an organization focused on archival purposes. Three matters to address when art is part of one’s estate:

  1. Insurance. Special art insurance policies help to provide coverage where standard homeowners insurance policies are often insufficient. Since many collectibles become more valuable as they age, routine appraisals can help make policy modifications for market and replacement values. Maintaining up-to-date art appraisals can also help to settle tax issues that may surface during probate.
  2. Security. Modern technology offers more options than ever before for home security. Depending on one’s goals, security systems can be as simple or as sophisticated as needed. Interior and exterior video surveillance could help to identify thieves or provide advance alert before damage or theft occurs. 
  3. Repair or restoration. If damage or natural deterioration affects fine art pieces, restoration services can help to enhance the appearance and condition to a state where it can be admired for future generations. In some instances, insurance policies cover the cost of restoration. Consider that damage and repair processes can affect the value of a piece.

Executors might be uncertain how to handle art during probate. Consider these matters above and research temporary insurance policies and security measures (if needed) to help protect pieces for heirs.

Read more about protecting art assets:
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