<p>Case study<br>Celebrated Estates</p>Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

Case study
Celebrated Estates

Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

Having lived a vibrant life, Pablo Picasso died leaving behind 45,000 artworks, several properties and considerable financial assets. The absence of a Will caused his seven surviving heirs to enter into a dispute that cost them 6 years, 60 meetings and $30 million in legal fees to reach a settlement. The feud over Picasso’s estate highlights the strain that a lack of legacy planning can have on both the artist’s family and their 'brand‘.

Pablo Picasso died in 1973 at the age of 91.  He lived life to the full; he married twice, had many affairs and left four children by three women (only one his wife).  He was an exceptionally prolific artist – with a reported 45,000 works forming part of his estate when he died.   Despite his established fame and wealth, he failed to plan ahead and died intestate with those works, two chateaux, three other properties and substantial cash and investments to his name. The official value of his estate at the date of his death was estimated at $250 million.   There were seven surviving heirs.  Six years of legal wrangling followed.  It was reported that the heirs had to meet sixty times to reach a settlement with as many as fifty professionals involved to represent the various family branches and government institutions. The legal costs were reported to be $30 million.   It was not until 1996 that the Picasso Administration was established in Paris to manage the heirs jointly-owned interests, controlling copyright, royalties, authentication and the Picasso 'brand'.  The Administration remains embattled today dealing with the complex estate, embroiled in constant litigation with representatives in twenty countries working together to defend Picasso's legacy.