Gardeners, Gifts and Garbage: Cautionary Tales and Best Practices For Tangible Personal Property

This presentation highlights rediscovered artwork and decorative objects found in unlikely places. The underlying message: when fiduciaries or estate custodians fall prey to bias or fail to recognize the merit of an object, it could end up discarded, abandoned or misidentified. This talk focuses on a selection of notable pieces sold at auction that were almost lost to time: an oil painting left in the garage for the gardener to take, a half-burnt masterwork found in an unpaid storage unit, and a remarkable silver bowl placed in a donation pile. Part cautionary tale and part reaffirmation of best practices for fiduciaries, this presentation is relevant for both novice and seasoned practitioners. Participants will enjoy a lively, interactive PowerPoint presentation. They will hear compelling stories and discover pertinent information on the tax implications of handling personal property, as well gain an understanding of when to engage a professional appraiser. Working in concert with tangible personal property experts is essential for fiduciaries who seek to ensure they are conducting proper due diligence when settling an estate, donating or disposing of items.

Speakers

Morgana Blackwelder

Morgana Blackwelder

John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers

Morgana Blackwelder’s career has spanned almost two decades in her tenure at Moran’s and has served in every facet of the auction business. In her dual role at John Moran Auctioneers, Morgana leads the Trusts and Estates department, where she works with estate planning professionals to provide appraisals for insurance, equitable distribution, donation and estate tax purposes. She facilitates other estate settlement needs such as walk through valuations, collection management and thoughtful advisory options. The job of object disposition is fraught with complicated and innumerable choices, Morgana’s extensive experience allows her to help her clients navigate those paths with efficiency, ease and care.

Noelle Valentino

Noelle Valentino

John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers

Noelle Valentino’s career in the art world has spanned institutions including the Smithsonian, Christie’s auction house, The Getty Museum and UCLA. Presently she is the Department Manager for Trusts and Estates at John Moran Auctioneers, a role that combines business development and appraisal services.

Noelle advises attorneys, fiduciaries, and CPAs who handle client collections and require estate settlement service or assistance with disposition at auction. Noelle frequently reviews art collections, decorative objects and jewelry. She and Morgana work as a team, traveling frequently throughout Southern California and beyond, evaluating estates and making selections for sale. They also make up the company’s appraisal division, writing the formalized documents required for insurance, charitable donation, estate tax and more.