What do you think will happen to your art when you’re gone? Have you given it any thought? Now mind you, I am both speaking of art you have purchased and/or own, as well as art you yourself may have created. It’s something I think few of us prepare for.
Ask yourself this; Is your art important to you? Now ask; Is your art important to anyone else? Also; Will your art be important to anyone in the future? Last; Do you truly care about your art legacy? I know you are a visual person because you are reading my blog and therefore it would be hard for you not to be. So imagine your art, that you either know what you paid for it or that which you have created, at a yard sale or even being thrown into a dumpster. Visualize each and every piece. Am I seeing two thumbs up, good with that? No? Well, then it is your responsibility to choose its fate.
Do you have a last Will and Testament? No? Well, if you do, make your art specifically part of it. If not, you’re not alone, as I’ve read 64% of us die without a Will.
Do yourself a favor and at least make a list of your art, maybe where you got it, what you paid for it, or have good records for the pieces you’ve done yourself. More importantly, make clear notes as to whom you would like to have them. Maybe it’s a child or a close friend who has always loved a particular piece. WRITE IT DOWN, communicate this!
You can give your work to a non-profit, you can ask that your work is auctioned with the money going to a charity of your choice. You may have very valuable works of art. The more valuable, the more misunderstandings can and will likely take place. CLARITY IS NEEDED WITH YOUR WISHES AND INTENTIONS!
There is also intellectual property. Here’s an example. Let’s say you did a painting some years back and now a company wants to pay a royalty for the copyrights for the use of that image for an advertisement. When you die, who will own those copyrights? In theory, your estate will. Copyrights stay with the creator or to whom they have passed those rights onto. If you have not sold your copyrights to the owner of the painting itself, you own them. This all requires all some estate planning. I’m just asking you to give it some thought and hopefully at least, begin thinking about it.