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Art collectors, art creators, legal and financial planners, executors and trustees should all have familiarity with the basic rules for appraising art, especially for charitable donation. An appraisal is used to determine the Fair Market Value (FMV) of an item for donation. FMV is defined by the IRS as the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller on the open market, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the facts.
Documentation during life is inestimable value in managing a collector’s estate or artist’s legacy. Creators and collectors should have a complete and up-to-date running inventory of each of their works, including when it was first copyrighted – that is, created and fixed in a tangible medium. Every artist should have an inventory of the works of art in his or her home, studio, and of the works on exhibition or in a gallery elsewhere.