We believe every artist should protect his or her estate legacy. The VLA works with estate planning attorneys that are experienced working with the unique issues of an artist’s estate and dedicated to assisting artists to develop an estate plan. It’s never too late or too early to think seriously about your legacy and to take steps now that will make a difference!
Since its founding in 1989, the VLA has focused on educating artists about the necessity for estate planning, from understanding copyright law and its implications for their estates to practical methods for better cataloguing and preparing their works for disposition. To further this mission, we have partnered with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, which shares our commitment to supporting artists in this process. Together we have created the Estate Planning Workbook for Visual Artists. This workbook is designed to help navigate many of the important issues and provides the tools to have meaningful discussions with loved ones, with an estate planning attorney, and with those who will help implement an estate plan.
Download the Workbook
Apply for Legal Services
If you are an artist seeking assistance with your estate plan, please download our application for estate planning services.
We request that all applications are sent through the mail to:
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
Arts & Business Council
15 Channel Center Street #103
Boston, MA 02210.
Please include the application fee of $85 and your most recent tax return. You may also pay your application fee online with a credit or debit card. If you have any inquires about the application process please email JIm Grace.
Based on the information in your application, the VLA will send your matter to our panel of estate panel attorneys. Emails are sent bi-monthly to the panel of attorneys and cases are usually placed within 2-3 weeks. While the VLA will do its best to place urgent matters, we may not be able to provide urgent assistance due to the nature of our volunteer panel. Please note that we cannot guarantee an attorney will be located for your matter.
If you are eligible for free legal services, the VLA will attempt to refer you to a volunteer attorney. If it is determined that you are not eligible for free legal services, the VLA will refer you to a VLA Member Attorney. Our Member Attorneys are lawyers dedicated to assisting artists and arts organizations, and thus are often willing to negotiate their fees.
Though we try to refer every case, we cannot guarantee that we will find a lawyer to take your case. Depending upon the nature of your question/problem, you should expect to hear from us within approximately two weeks from the date the application is submitted.
Legacy planning for artists entails more than just drawing up a will. While getting financial matters settled is important, an artist faces the unique challenge of ensuring their art and their message lives on as well. The A&BC has partnered with artists, their families, and attorneys representing artists of all media to think about legacy on deeper level. Together, we create programs to extend the impact of their art and, in many cases, to support artists following in their footsteps.
To learn more about our legacy services for artists, email our Executive Director, Jim Grace, or call 617.350.7600 x 7010
The late photographer, Peter Urban