Valuable Basquiat painting at center of legal dispute

by | May 24, 2018 | Probate Litigation |

In New York, a dispute over an estate can come about for many different reasons. One of the most common is if there is an item that is of significant value and parties are in dispute over who should inherit it and whether it should be retained or sold. When a legal dispute arises over these items, it can often call into question whether there was a valid will and can cause disagreements as to what the testator wanted. To avoid this, people should have a comprehensive and well-crafted estate plan.

A disagreement centered around a painting by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the case, the art collector whose late wife had purchased the painting wanted to keep his daughter from putting it up for sale. The value of the painting is estimated at $30 million. There was a will that was made not long before the woman’s death that left a vast portion of her assets to that daughter, one of the couple’s three children. The husband did not receive anything and challenged the will’s validity.

He did not claim to own the painting but asserted that he has the right to one-third of the estate based on state law. In March 2015, the man had made an agreement with Sotheby’s that gives him the right to approve of any issue linked to the consigned works in the family’s collection. It extends to April of next year. The daughter had consigned the Basquiat painting. Her father says that the auction house was exploiting the will dispute. An injunction to block the sale was denied, but the man plans to appeal.

A legal dispute over an estate can cause innumerable problems between those who lay claim to various assets. However, when there is a belief that a will was not completed according to the law, there was undue influence or other problems and there are items of immense value at stake, it is necessary to move forward with estate litigation. Having a law firm that is experienced in asset disputes and other estate issues can help with a case.