Legacy and Planning in Art

Legacy and Planning in Art
Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Art is more than just a visual spectacle; it's a reflection of one's passion, identity, and life journey. As highlighted by Morgan Stanley, safeguarding the legacy of an art collection is paramount. This article delves into the intricacies of legacy planning in the art world, ensuring that a collector's vision endures.

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Your Art Collection and Legacy Planning

Art collections are unique, reflecting personal tastes, passions, and experiences. Unlike other financial assets, they embody personal stories and emotions. Having invested time, effort, and financial resources into curating the perfect collection, it's vital to ensure its legacy. As Colleen Boyle of Pall Mall Art Advisors notes, many families delay developing a strategy for their valuables, leading to rushed decisions. It's crucial to have a clear plan, reflecting on market changes, tax laws, and ensuring correct documentation.

Options for Legacy Planning

Collectors have several choices for their art's legacy. They can sell the collection, pass it on to heirs, or donate it to charitable beneficiaries like museums. Donating art can be personally and financially rewarding. If donated while alive, pieces given to a museum can offer income tax deductions based on the artwork's value at the donation time. Donating upon death allows the estate to receive tax deductions based on the art's valuation at that time. Another option is creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC), allowing family members to own LLC interests, with the LLC owning the art. This ensures the art's control and maintenance by selected managers.


Art is a testament to a collector's journey and passion. Ensuring its legacy requires foresight, planning, and strategic decisions. Whether it's passing it on to the next generation, donating to a museum, or setting up structured ownership, the goal remains the same: preserving the art's essence and value. As emphasized by Morgan Stanley, with the right planning, the legacy of an art collection can be safeguarded for generations to come.


Morgan Stanley (2018), Art | Commerce and Legacy | Planning. https://advisor.morganstanley.com/michelle.ward/documents/field/w/wa/ward-sofia-michelle/MSWM_Art_Advisory_WP.pdf

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