Useful Resources

  • New York State Surrogate’s Court Forms.  This is a useful starting point for artists in New York State. Please note two important things about these forms: (1) They are very intricate and therefore difficult to understand.  Please take your time, and read them carefully—especially if you do not plan to consult a lawyer in making your estate & legacy plans (again, highly discouraged). (2)  If you believe—and are willing to sign an affidavit—that your estate is worth less than $30,000, you should use the “Small Estate” forms on the left-hand menu.  You need not have had your art appraised to select this option; rather, you must only be under the belief that your estate (including art) is worth less than $30,000. You can access the Surrogate’s Court’s Small Estate Affidavit Program do-it-yourself form here.
  • ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY.   This project, created by Joan Jeffri, a former Columbia University program chair, focuses on preserving the legacy of aging artists.  The project has taken place in New York City and Washington D.C., and is gradually adding locations as it moves to a national platform.
  • Creating a Living Legacy (CALL), Joan Mitchell Foundation.  Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) is a program of the Joan Mitchell Foundation providing support to visual artists in creating comprehensive documentation of their artworks and careers through organizing and inventorying.  A link to the CALL program’s workbook and guide can be found here.
  • American Society of Appraisers, Advice for estate clients with art assets, covering the following topics: getting ready for the market, authorship, authenticity, proof of ownership, provenance, condition and variations in value.
  • Etched in Memory: Legacy Planning for Artists. This is a list of resources designed to help artists in preparing for and protecting their professional legacy. The list includes books, articles, and other resources that can help artists to build and maintain an artistic legacy and advises them on how to guide their surviving family and friends with decisions on topics ranging from financial issues and estates to the disposition of personal papers, business records, and artwork.