On November 19, 2013

People living in Colorado and across the country may be interested to know that the two-year battle to determine the ownership of a Farah Fawcett painting has entered another round of litigation in Los Angeles. Up for grabs is whether the painting’s beneficiary is Fawcett’s ex-boyfriend or the University of Texas.

The silkscreen of Fawcett was painted in the 1980s by the late Andy Warhol. At the time of the actress’ passing in 2009, the University of Texas alleged that Ryan O’Neal, Fawcett’s long-time partner, stole one of the two artist’s paintings from her home. The claim is that, thanks to a trust set up by Fawcett, both Warhol paintings are the University’s since they were part of her art collection. O’Neal has agreed that he took the painting and it was rightly his. In previous statements, O’Neal said Fawcett kept the Warhol lithograph at her house because it made his previous girlfriend uncomfortable.

What makes the situation muddy is the fact O’Neal was never legally married to Fawcett during their 18 years together, even though they had a son together. In addition, the University states the painting remained in Fawcett’s house from 1998 until her death. Insurance documents listing both paintings back up this claim by the University. The case was dismissed in California federal court in 2011. This new superior court jury trial is supposed to last for two weeks and features a number of high-profile attorneys and witnesses.

An estate plan should be considered when determining the distribution of wealth and property after death. In order to set up a detailed documentation, an attorney specializing in estate planning may need to be consulted. These types of lawyers may be able to review all of a client’s property and produce a clear and concise estate plan detailing its final destination.

Source: Wealth Management, “Who Owns Warhol’s Farrah Fawcett Painting?“, Megan Leonhardt, November 14, 2013

Categories: Estate Administration