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Special needs of estate planning regarding art and valuables

More people today than in previous years appreciate the importance of having an estate plan to help ensure that one's final wishes are carried out as one would like in Washington. This awareness is due in part to prominent celebrities who died without estate plans and the ensuing drama that occurred regarding their estates. While money figured prominently in those instances, chances are there were other valuables that became objects of contention that may have been avoided if estate planning had been done.

Where fine art and other valuable possessions are concerned, additional steps may need to be taken to make sure that these treasures are distributed as intended. An accurate inventory of valuable objects should be part of one's estate documents. This inventory should be stored safely and updated as needed. In addition to listing the items they should also be tracked as to their physical location.

Information regarding who is to receive the items upon one's passing can be included as part of a trust document. The inventory can be part of the document, and any authenticating documentation that may exist should also be included. A valuable painting, for example, without the provenance of records of authenticity, bills of sale and other qualifying documentation can be difficult to appropriately insure or sell.

Items of value, such as art or antiques, can be bequeathed as assets to be liquidated to help pay for a child's education or to be enjoyed for their beauty by future generations. Regardless of one's intentions, the value of the items should be accurately documented. An experienced estate planning attorney in Washington can help to ensure that one's wishes regarding valuables will be carried out as intended.

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