Court Bonds

Executing Paul Allen’s Estate



When Microsoft co-founder, Paul G. Allen died in 2018, his net worth was estimated at $20.3 billion. His sister Jody Allen has had the big role of executing his estate in line with his philanthropic vision. Among the assets Paul left behind is a treasure trove of art, valued at a billion dollars. Jody’s arrangement to sell the collection at auction has the art world buzzing.


Making Auction History

According to The New York Times, Paul Allen’s collection includes over 150 works of art, ranging from Renaissance masterpieces to modern works, and it’s sale this fall will be the largest in auction history:


Christies said it would dedicate all the proceeds to philanthropy, as Allen directed.

Its a major event for the art market and for the art world,” Guillaume Cerutti, the chief executive of Christies, said in a telephone interview. The fact that it embraces five centuries of great art — from Botticelli to David Hockney, plus of course the very inspirational figure of Paul Allen, plus the fact that the sale is dedicated to philanthropy — we are really moved by this extraordinary project we are on. Its something thats very special.”…Among the highlights of the works from the Allen estate that will be for sale is Jasper Johnss encaustic, acrylic and paper collage Small False Start” from 1960, estimated to bring more than $50 million, and Paul Cézannes La Montagne Sainte-Victoire” (1888-90), estimated at over $100 million.


Paul Allen was an active philanthropist during his lifetime and pursued a wide variety of interests before dying at 65 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. GeekWire shares that in addition to art, Allen’s diverse philanthropic pursuits included supporting numerous projects in Seattle and around the world, as well as “music, pop culture, technology, sports and aviation.” As executor of his vast and varied estate, Paul’s sister Jody has been busy carrying out his intentions. Handing off the art collection for auction marks a milestone in her work:Paul truly understood the power and significance of art and was always happy to share that experience with others,” said Allens sister, Jody Allen, executor of the Paul G. Allen Estate. I am very pleased to have this unparalleled collection in the hands of Christies world class operation to lead its safe passage to new collectors around the world, and in doing so, to maximize resources for the future philanthropic vision my brother planned for.”


In The Here and Now?

While it is always fascinating to consider the estates and plans of the “beyond wealthy,” experts remind the rest of us that we need estate plans too. Mondaq offers this advice:


Individuals who own real property, have liquid assets, own insurance, or support loved ones who are dependent on their assistance should have an estate plan in place, regardless of value or size of the estate, marital status, or age. Estate planning also encompasses much more than the distribution of your net-worth. For example, planning for incapacity ensures that your wishes are carried out regarding decisions about your health care. An estate plan is critical for protecting the interests and future income needs of a spouse and/or minor children, and can cover a range of directives for the appointment of guardians of people and property.


Your estate is also made up of more than just liquid assets. Existing inventory in a self-owned business or personal tangibles — such as jewelry, furniture, and other items of sentimental value — are often subject to disputes among family members after an unexpected death. 


When you work with an estate planning lawyer, you will create a will or trust—or even a combination. In doing so, you will designate a loved one, friend or professional to serve as your fiduciary. This person is generally referred to as the executor, trustee, or personal representative, depending on the circumstances and location. Essentially, your fiduciary will serve as the administrator of your affairs, in accordance with the intentions set forth in your estate planning documents—and the law. Estate Bonds are frequently requested—and sometimes even required. Sometimes alternatively referred to as administrator, executor, probate, personal representative or trustee bonds, estate bonds safeguard the interests of the estate and your beneficiaries in accordance with state law. At Colonial, a leading national provider of all types of fiduciary bonds, the steps to obtaining an estate and other bonds are easy: get a quote online, fill out the information, and enter a payment method. Print or e-file the bond right from anywhere—even the law office. Obtain Estate Bonds Here.


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