According to the Trust Adivsor, for the wealthy, collecting art and rare objects is a time-honored way of making sense of what would otherwise be an abstract number of dollars in an investment account.

When the collector is alive, the intangible benefits are obvious.

But recent auction results demonstrate that those intangibles can carry a hefty price tag when the collector dies and the time comes to distribute the trinkets among the heirs and the IRS.

For examples of problems caused by collectibles, see From Stradivarius to Rare Stamps, Collectible Assets Can Leave Heirs in IRS Lurch |.

Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.