The Wall Street Journal‘s Dow Jones Newswire runs a personal finance column geared toward the wealthy. Today Shelly Banjo discusses opportunity presented by lower prices to pass artwork down through the generations or donate to a charity:
“Today’s prices allow you to go back and get an appraisal that shows the value of those paintings severely lower than they were six months ago,” says Michael Mendelsohn, president of Bridge Art Strategies Ltd., an art succession planning firm in Rye Brook, N.Y.
By gifting artwork to a relative, any future price appreciation is gained by them and can remain in the family – as long as they don’t turn around and sell it. Current owners “should be sure their children are going to appreciate the inherited gifts,” Cutrow cautions, “and not just sell them down the road.”
By donating to a charity, an owner may be able to get an immediate income tax deduction and ensure the piece remains treasured. This strategy may be especially useful if the piece has appreciated in value since it was purchased. Even if the appraised value is now lower than it was, say, two years ago, the current value may result in a long-term capital gain. And that can typically be deducted at full fair market value. Some appraisals determining a piece’s value may be based on sale prices from earlier in the year and may not yet reflect the overall market drop, says Caroline Camougis, managing director of Delphi Partners, a philanthropy consulting firm in New York.