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

BY MICHAEL HAYES

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.

SPONSORED REPORT

How the election may affect taxation of business income

This report summarizes recent proposals to reform the U.S. business income tax system and considers the path to enactment of any such legislation.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

Did you follow 2016’s biggest accounting news?

CPAs will remember 2016 as a year of new standards and new faces. How well did you follow the biggest accounting events? The 7 questions in this quiz will help you find out