If you have a valuable collection of art, antiques or other collectibles, you should be planning as carefully for the distribution of that collection as you would for your other assets. A Wealth Management Exchange article provides the following guidelines for effective collection succession planning:
Keep the inventory of your collection up to date and be sure to update whenever you make a purchase, a sale, a loan or gift, or have an appraisal done.
Obtain a qualified appraisal and valuation from a professional appraiser. Look for someone who is a member of the American Society of Appraisers, the Appraisers Association of America, or the International Society of Appraisers.
Keep meticulous records of all transactions and safeguard any authentication documents.
Identify any charities you would like to benefit from your gift, and determine if it is better to give as an outright gift or via a trust.
Get to know dealers, curators and other collectors who are experts in your type of collection to help you stay on top of the market.
Be sure your collection is properly insured against loss and/or damage.
Consult with your estate planner about the right estate planning strategies that are available to you, and be sure you educate them thoroughly about the extent of your collection.
Have each piece in your collection assessed to determine if you have any capital gains tax issues that may require special planning.
Speak with your heirs to see if they want any or all of your collection, or if they prefer the cash value.