Donating Tangible Assets

Alternatives to Selling Art and Collectibles

Many people take pleasure in “collectibles,” perhaps even amassing sizable and valuable collections of art, stamps and coins, jewelry, antiques, and other forms of tangible personal property.1 However, despite the pervasiveness and often high value of collectibles, owners of these items often fail to plan adequately for their disposition. This article outlines the options available to a collector or artist in disposing of collectibles, and highlights the benefits of donating such items to a non-operating private foundation.

The first consideration is determining whether to divest oneself of the collection during one’s lifetime or upon death. In either case, the collector can (i) monetize the collection by selling it; (ii) gift it to family or friends during one’s lifetime or as an inheritance at death; or (iii) donate it to charity.

There may be some initial uncertainty as to the selling price of a collection because market values fluctuate with demand, an item or collection may be extremely rare, etc. However, once an offering price is determined, a second key factor in selling a collection involves tax considerations, and specifically, the collection’s cost basis. The cost basis will depend on how the collection was acquired.

Please fill out the form below to download your free resource.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.