A lot of hard work and dedication goes into starting a business. Whether it is a startup or a family business that has been in operation within the family for generations, understanding what happens to the business after you retire or pass is important for business owner in Georgia and elsewhere. However, succession planning is not just exclusive for family-owned businesses. It is a vital business planning strategy for any type of business, as it provides peace of mind and control over what happens after you no longer run the business.

Artists and succession planning

There are many reasons why an artist and art dealers would want to develop a succession plan. The major reason is so that they can designate and control who has ownership and control of their artwork during their lifetime and after they pass.

Additionally, a succession plan could help one see others benefit from their generosity, allow for an artist or art dealer to control their personal collection during his or her lifetime, allow for the recognition of his or her acumen, expertise or generosity and allows for one to test others on the management and ownership of artwork when a more substantial testamentary gift may occur in the future.

Furthermore, it could assist with the reduction of management, tax and administration burdens that are often associated with owning and transferring artwork and help one fulfill legal and moral obligations to one’s family, collaborators and community. Finally, it could help protect one’s personal art collection from the ownership or control of future creditors or an issue during property division of a divorce.

Creating a succession plan for your artwork

As an artist or art dealer, one’s artwork is not only their livelihood but is often considered very valuable possessions. Thus, having a succession plan for them allows for added protection. This requires one to have a current written inventory of all the work one currently have as well as all the work that has been sold, gifted or bartered. Additionally, including any contracts associated with any artwork is essential, as there may be licenses and assignments. A succession plan should also consider business relationships, copyright issues, who is in charge of the disposition of the artwork and who will receive the artwork.

Drafting a succession plan, like any business law matter, can be complex and multi-faceted. Thus, it is important that one fully understands this business planning strategy and how it could benefit them.