Life Is Short, Art Is Long: Maximizing Estate Planning Strategies for Collectors of Art, Antiques and Collectibles


by Michael Mendelsohn
Wealth Management Press, 2006, 421 pp.

Accountant, financial planner and outsider art collector Michael Mendelsohn has composed a pleasant read with a purpose. His premise: Most people collect something, and over time many of those collections come to represent important client wealth that should be included in the estate planning process. While capable financial advisers will dot every i and cross every t, many overlook how best to handle the transfer of collectibles. The problem is exacerbated when heirs—to evade taxes—quietly whisk art out of collector clients’ homes.

Mendelsohn weaves together serious tips and engaging anecdotes about how wooing his wife led to their shared obsession with collecting. Practical estate planning details include instruction about inventorying a collection, having it properly appraised, planning for its disposition and information about how a client can:

Avoid losing 70% of the value of a collection.

Work with an advisory team.

Fulfill philanthropic intentions.

Use a collection to create liquidity.

Employ sophisticated planning techniques.

Never assume, he says: Ask your clients what they collect, and then take it from there.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.