Trusts, thanks to the characteristic of extreme flexibility and customization, can be used for the protection of the family artistic heritage as an alternative to other instruments such as testamentary destination constraints, the patrimonial fund, the foundations.

With the establishment of a trust, the so-called settlor, owner of an artistic collection, transfers it to the trust and entrust it to the trustee for the achievement of a specific purpose (for example to preserve the artistic value of the collection, promote cultural purposes, promote circulation and generate profitability aimed at maintaining the sustainability and self-sufficiency of the trust in the long term).

This determines the creation of a segregated patrimony both with respect to the settlor's assets and with respect to the trustee's assets. The use of the trust in the generational handover of artistic assets therefore allows the non-dispersion of value, avoiding the risk of splitting and distribution among the entitled parties.

In Italy, compared to other European countries, the trust benefits from an advantageous tax treatment, now confirmed on several occasions by the Supreme Court: in the case of a so-called inheritance trust with beneficiaries the descendants in a straight line of the settlor, for the purposes of inheritance and gift taxes, only the attributions by the trustee to the final beneficiaries will be taxable (who today in any case would benefit from an excess of 1 million euros each and a 4% on the higher value), while the contributions of the settlor of the trust will be fiscally neutral.

However, it is essential, before establishing a trust, to take a photograph of the settlor's consolidated assets, to ensure that the value of the artistic collection, which is part of the inheritance, destined for the trust, does not affect the legitimate shares possibly due to other legitimate holders, excluded by the beneficiaries of the trust, and who could consequently act in reduction.

Our staff, expert in trust matters, remains available for any clarification.

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