ArtBanc and NFP Form Alliance to Advise Fine Art Owners

Strategic partnership addresses collectors’ estate planning and tax issues

"The Scream," by Edvard Munch, sold for $120 million in May. But fine art isn't always a lucrative, or simple, investment. "The Scream," by Edvard Munch, sold for $120 million in May. But fine art isn't always a lucrative, or simple, investment.

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Wealthy individuals and families with significant collections of paintings, sculpture, photography or jewelry face unique estate planning and tax issues.

Last week, ArtBanc and NFP Life announced a strategic alliance to provide collectors and estate attorneys with an integrated solution to these matters.

The partners will address the reduction of potential estate tax and estate distribution taxes, penalties and proper planning for tax implications of fine art collection ownership. They will also enable clients to borrow against their collections to help resolve estate tax and estate planning issues.

“Planning for estates with important art collections is not merely about the disposition of the collection,” Sam Radin, attorney and president of NFP National Madison, said in a statement.

“Often, the estate lacks sufficient liquid assets to meet the tax obligations arising from the value of the collection, particularly when the collection was acquired many years earlier at low prices.”

The program will also offer life insurance services and strategies used in high-net-worth family estate plans, combined with critical fine art asset class expertise in valuation. And it will provide donation and gifting strategies using life insurance products.

John Olivieri, an estate planning specialist at the law firm White & Case, noted in the statement that artwork “is illiquid, difficult to appraise and impossible to divide equally.”

“In the hands of a fiduciary,” he said, “fine art can give rise to liability if not properly stored, shipped and insured, or if sold at the wrong time or for too low a price. Having knowledgeable advisors will be a great benefit to estate planners and fiduciaries alike.”

The relationship between ArtBanc and NFP Life is managed by Radin and Gary Stallard, a managing principal within NFP Life.

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Read 3 Steps for Adequately Insuring HNW Clients' Art Collections on AdvisorOne.

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