Some Gifts End Up Costing The Charity & Cannot Be Returned

Ever been in possession of agift you cannot return? No, I’m not talking about a post-Christmas conundrumwhere you don’t have the receipt or the tags are missing. What happens if youcan no longer keep a gift given to you through someone’s will? This is aproblem so many museums face each year in regards to gifts they receive throughthe wills of deceased art collectors.

One museum currently on the hookis the Brooklyn Museum in New York. TheNew York Times recently reported on its plight regarding a giftedcollection in an article titled “BrooklynMuseum Finds Some Problematic Gifts Can’t Be Returned.”

It seems that in 1932, ColonelMichael Friedsam gave a massive collection to the then fledgling museum.Nevertheless, since then the museum has grown and has too much to put on itswalls, no longer displays items like historic battle axes, and half theColonel’s collection turned out to be fakes or “not of museum quality.” Bottomline: the museum wants to give or sell the artworks and stop paying theexorbitant storage and restoration fees.

Now, it’s not that the museum isunappreciative. No, it’s more complicated even than that. Unfortunately, theColonel’s will legally excludes any option the Colonel’s estate executor hasn’tsigned off on. Even more unfortunately, the last executor died in 1962.

The lesson for those withartworks worth preserving for future generations is to include alternativespermitting like-minded individuals (executors) to further your objectives foryour gifts in the future.

Frankly, the Colonel and his estate planners couldn’thave foreseen the next 90 years. But let that be a lesson when it comes to yourplanning. Predicting the future can be a very tricky thing. So, how are yourgifts structured?

At Idaho Estate Planning we are theexperts you need to know and trust. Work with us and we'll put together a planthat works for you and your loved ones. Remember, good planning is no accident.


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