Estate Planning 101

How to Transfer Prints into a Trust

Discover the process of safeguarding your artistic assets by learning how to transfer your valuable prints into a trust. Our detailed blog post guides you through every crucial step, ensuring your artwork remains secure for future generations.
October 12, 2023

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Transferring tangible assets into a trust is a common strategy for estate planning, and this includes artworks such as prints. By placing valuable prints into a trust, you not only ensure that they are safe and preserved for future generations, but also avoid the hassle of probate and possibly reduce estate tax. This blog post will guide you through the process of transferring prints into a trust.

Understanding Trusts

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to the beneficiaries. Trusts can be classified mainly into two types: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust can be changed or revoked at any time during the grantor's lifetime. In contrast, an irrevocable trust can't be changed or terminated without the permission of the beneficiary.

Why Transfer Prints into a Trust

Transferring prints into a trust ensures that they are managed properly and preserved for the future. It also helps in avoiding probate - a lengthy and costly court-supervised process for distributing assets after death. In addition, trusts can provide certain tax benefits, depending on the type of trust and the specific circumstances.

Setting Up a Trust for Prints

  1. Choose the type of trust: Depending on your needs, you can choose between a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust.
  2. Select a trustee: Choose someone you trust to manage the assets in the trust.
  3. Create the trust document: This legal document will contain all the terms of the trust, including the details of the trustee and beneficiaries, and how the assets should be handled.
  4. Fund the trust: This involves transferring your assets, in this case, the prints, into the trust.

Transferring Prints into a Trust

  1. Appraise the prints: Get a professional appraisal of your prints to determine their fair market value for tax purposes.
  2. Change ownership: The prints should be legally transferred to the trust. This may involve creating a new deed or bill of sale.
  3. Update insurance policy: Ensure your prints are adequately insured under the name of the trust.
  4. Document the transfer: Keep a thorough record of the transfer process, including the appraisal, change of ownership documents, and updated insurance policy.

Seeking Professional Help

The process of transferring prints into a trust can be complex, and it's essential to get professional advice to ensure all legal requirements are met, and potential tax benefits are maximized. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance in setting up the trust, managing the assets, and navigating any legal and financial challenges that may arise.


Transferring prints into a trust is a practical way to ensure their safekeeping and preservation for future generations. While the process may seem daunting, with careful planning and professional assistance, it can be a seamless and beneficial part of your broader estate planning strategy.