Artist Failed to Check the Estate Planning “Box” and it Cost Millions.
On April 8, 1973, Pablo Picasso died at his villa in Mougins, France at 91 years of age. The arguably greatest artist of the century left behind an estate valued at the time in the hundreds of millions of dollars, including nearly 16,000 paintings; additionally, he left behind four children, two grandchildren, several houses. Unfortunately, Picasso left no will, trust, or other estate planning document. After 91 years of life, the artist had no say in what was to be done with his paintings, his art, his houses, or even his name; no say in who would receive his vast estate. The ensuing drawn-out and public battle over the Picasso estate, and who would inherit what the artist left behind took approximately 6 years, and around $30 million in attorney’s fees.
Picasso’s estate is a perfect example of why it is important to have a current will or trust that accurately reflects what you would like to happen to your assets when you pass away, and who you would like to inherit. The proposition is true, even if you aren’t a generational artist who is valued in the millions of dollars. Executing your estate planning documents now can provide peace of mind for the individual or couple, and save significant amounts of money and time for the surviving family.
Having good and accurate estate planning documents is an easy way to ensure that your wishes can be carried out when you pass away, and can help prevent bitter and expensive fighting between the people that you love. Estate planning is likely more cost and time effective than you think, and should be considered as the responsible action.