This portion of the website is for anyone who is seeking information on how to leave artworks(s) to individuals, organizations or others to assure that such artworks live on after the death of the testator (the person who passes away) and any persons or institutions who are beneficiaries of the will or trust.
Artworks, like any other asset, may be left to a person or organization by will or testamentary trust. Local laws should be reviewed before such language is used by the person drawing the will or trust document to be sure that it complies with all requirements of law. It is highly recommended that an attorney be used or consulted when drafting such document; however, it is recognized that some people will try to draft their own. In some states, a holographic (self written) document may have binding effect i.e. treated as if it were a will or trust. In other jurisdictions, such a writing by the deceased will be used only to express his/her desire, but is not legally binding.
The testator (person making the will) may leave individual pieces of art to anyone he/she chooses, however it should be carefully specified in detail which piece of art is given. The will or trust document does have legal and tax consequences. The art should be described in such a fashion that a reasonable person can know what is intended.
Here are examples of “residuary” language where artworks are intended for named individuals or organizations and where artworks are intended for Lalo (to be certain the artworks “live on”). Lalo will make a small charge to the estate or individual when including in the Lalo database artworks – not intended to be owned by Lalo. And here are examples of holographic letters expressing desire to leave to individuals and to Lalo.
As noted above, it is best to have a qualified professional draft the required document. The attachments are mere examples furnished without cost to help in the drafting of a specific will or trust or a holographic intention of a deceased person.
This notation is written by Charles P. Lickson, a retired member of the Bar of Connecticut. Lickson is also a Founder and Principal of Lalo, Inc. Neither Charles Lickson, nor anyone at Lalo is providing legal services.
Visitors are again advised to consult their attorney or other estate planning professional before drafting their will or trust.