There are many benefits for people in Texas who have begun the estate planning process. Among these are the ability to leave specific items to heirs and beneficiaries. This detailed information can help limit the chances that litigation over ownership will ensue after the death of the person who owned the property.
In one recent case that some in Texas may find interesting, the heirs of a famous artist engaged in litigation with the heirs and beneficiaries of a gallery owner who did business with the artist. The artist was Alexander Calder. He gained fame as an abstract artist in the mid-part of the last century.
At the time of his death, he was a friend and business associate with Klaus Perls, who owned a gallery that displayed some of Calder’s works. In fact, though Klaus died in 2010, the gallery continues to display “Standing Constellation”, a work said to be highly valued. It was this piece that was the subject of the litigation between the heirs of the two men.
It is not clear if the piece was specifically named in the estate planning documents of Calder. However, a court held that the lawsuit did not have merit, and it was thrown out. The Calder heirs and beneficiaries may appeal that decision in the future.
People in Texas may be able to avoid this type of litigation by using proper estate planning tools. These include a will or trust that specifically names heirs to assets such as pieces of art or property to be left to heirs or beneficiaries. Such information can be helpful to those left behind when a person dies. To ensure that this type of case does not happen to their family, some find it helpful to complete a full review of their estate planning and to add any additional documents that may have been missing. This action will end in gratitude form heirs when they are able to determine exactly how assets should be distributed.
Source: Los Angeles Times, Alexander Calder heirs see their lawsuit against dealer dismissed, David Ng, Jan. 3, 2014