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Heirs see proceeds of sale of figurines 80 years later

Many in Woodland Hills may wonder what sort of assets make up their estates, and how far those properties can go in generating income and other benefits for their beneficiaries. Any tangible (and in some cases, intangible) property can qualify as estate assets. That means that one’s cash accounts, securities, real estate holdings, investment accounts, and precious items may all be made to benefit one’s family, friends, or other parties once he or she is gone.

The same holds true with any intellectual property that he or she may hold. This highlights the point that not only do the actual present values of estate assets benefit beneficiaries, but so too does their income-generating potential. Examples of this may include the authorized use of a protected work, the interest earned on an investment account, or the proceeds of the sale of an item.

A recent case showcases just how far the income-generating potential of one’s assets may go in benefiting future generations. A museum in Massachusetts recently agreed to settle a case involving a dispute with the estate of Jewish woman over the sale of some of her items that was made during the period of Nazi persecution in Germany prior to World War II. The items at the center of this case were a collection of 18th century figurines currently in the museum’s possession. They were sold after the woman’s death in 1937. However, the circumstances at the time did not allow her heirs to benefit from the proceeds of the sale. The museum has since agreed to pay the woman’s family in order to retain ownership of the figurines.

Those who feel as though they have been barred from benefitting from the assets of a loved one’s estate may wish to work with an attorney to see their situations rectified.

Source: U.S. News and World Report “Boston Museum Settles Dispute Over Figures Sold in Nazi Era” May 04, 2017

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