Artist Estate Planning

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Protect your estate with a last will and testament. Artist estate planning attorneys from The Law Office of Paul Black can help protect your wishes. Call us today.

Author: Paul Black

Paul’s experience as the son of two parents with big health challenges is what led him to the work he does today and gives him first-hand knowledge of the challenges that many caregivers and family members face. After graduation from GSU Law, Paul was chosen from dozens of applicants nationwide as one of three 2010-2011 Borchard Foundation Law & Aging Fellows. Paul has been named as  a SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in the area of Estate Planning and as a member of Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend magazine. Published on: July 24, 2023.

Estate Planning for Artists in Georgia

Estate Planning for Artists in Georgia sec

It’s never too early to start planning for your family’s future.

If you have questions, I’m here to help. There is no commitment and we provide free initial 15-minute phone calls. We look forward to meeting you.

If you are an artist, you may need to consider artist estate planning to make sure your legacy and assets are managed per your wishes after you pass.

Visual artists, music composers, art collectors, and other artists are often concerned about their artistic legacy. Protecting your intellectual and tangible personal property and preventing disputes are just a few reasons to create an estate plan now.

Planning your estate can relieve your family and successors from having to guess how to best manage your legacy. Contact The Law Office of Paul Black for assistance in your estate planning.

What Is Artist Estate Planning?

Artist estate planning safeguards the artist’s original works and guarantees the fulfillment of their wishes. By planning your estate, you determine how your work is sold, stored, managed, and used in case of your incapacitation or death.

Your estate plan can address the following:

  • Intellectual property issues

  • The creation of assets inventory

  • Asset valuation and appraisal

  • The collection, storage, selling, or donation of your assets

  • Ways to increase the value and influence of your artistic legacy and minimize estate taxes

  • Settling legal issues and disputes


Intellectual Property at Death

At death, questions and concerns about administering and transferring your creative assets, such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks, may arise. 

Without a will or legally binding contracts, the ownership of your intellectual property may be passed on according to Georgia probate law. Proactive estate planning will ensure the smooth transfer of the artist’s intellectual property rights to your chosen heirs and allow you to designate personal representatives to oversee and manage your estate per your wishes and instructions.

Check out our guide to Georgia estate planning, or contact our attorneys at The Law Office of Paul Black if you have any questions.

Creating a Comprehensive Estate Plan

There are many estate planning instruments to manage and protect an artist’s estate. Here are the most common ones:


A trust is established to guarantee the proper management of your estate during your lifetime, after your death, or both, depending on whether you go for a living or testamentary trust. Personal assets, such as your artwork, intellectual property, real estate, securities, and bank accounts, can be placed under a trust and managed by a trustee. 

Your estate planning attorney will help you choose the right trust for you and help you set it up.

Here’s how setting up a trust can benefit you:

  • Ensures your estate is managed and transferred per your wishes

  • Your heirs can avoid the arduous probate process

  • Allows you to set up a debt repayment schedule

  • Lowers your estate taxes

  • Protects your estate from creditor claims


A will is a formal statement of your final wishes, and it only takes effect after your passing. It allows you to name an executor who will be in charge of distributing your assets to your named beneficiaries.

Unlike trusts, wills must go through probate. This means that they will be accessible to the public as soon as probate court is involved. On the bright side, they are easier to create, less expensive, and allow you to name guardians to your minor children.

Power of Attorney (POA)

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a written document that appoints another person, called the agent or attorney-in-fact, to represent or act on your behalf in private or business affairs. POAs don’t expire if you become disabled or incapacitated, but they do on your death.

POAs can be medical, financial, general, or limited, depending on your needs. They are an effective estate planning tool for when you believe you are unable to make certain decisions and want to delegate them to someone trustworthy and capable.

Business Succession Planning for Artists’ Estates

If you own foundations or companies, it’s important to prepare for the transfer of management and succession while you still can. By planning your business succession, you prevent conflict between family members of shareholders.

This process is known as business succession planning for artists’ estates, and it includes:

  • Finding and preparing potential successors
  • Creating a transition plan
  • Taking care of legal and financial issues

Successful business succession planning guarantees the smooth transfer of not only your physical assets but also your artistic legacy and vision.


Common Mistakes to Avoid in Estate Planning for Artists


Some of the common mistakes in estate planning for artists include failing to:

  • Create a thorough estate plan
  • Take into account the value of artworks and intellectual property
  • Consider copyright and licensing issues
  • Review and update the estate plan

How The Law Office of Paul Black Can Help Artists

Paul Black from The Law Office of Paul Black is a top estate planning attorney in Atlanta, GA. We assist artists in protecting their art legacy through experienced legal guidance and support in:

  • Creating legally-binding instruments like wills and trusts

  • Choosing executors or trustees who are capable of managing your estate

  • Evaluating and updating your estate plan

  • Resolving legal issues and conflicts

  • Ensuring the smooth transfer of your estate to your designated heirs, beneficiaries, and charities

It is critical that you take action and deal with these important issues today. People put off dealing with their estate planning because nobody wants to confront the reality that they may pass any day.

It’s never too early to plan your estate and prepare for the day you are no longer able to control or manage your art legacy. Contact us today and schedule a consultation.

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