Estate Planning

We believe every artist should protect his or her legacy. We are dedicated to assisting artists to develop an estate plan. The VLA works with estate planning attorneys that are experienced working with the unique issues of an artist’s estate.

NEW: The Estate Planning Workbook for Visual Artists

The Arts & Business Council is committed to helping artists protect their work and plan for their legacy. 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.

It’s never too late or too early to think seriously about your legacy and to take steps now that will make a difference!

Application for Assistance

If you are an artist seeking assistance with your estate plan, please download the application. We request that all applications are sent through the mail to our address at 15 Channel Center Street #103, Boston, MA 02210. If you have any inquires about the application process please email Jim Grace at

Please include the application fee of $85 and your most recent tax return or pay online.

Application for Estate Planning.doc

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.