Tattoos – More Permanent Than Ever!

Estate planning invariably involves dealing with assets.  Some assets are common and relatively easy to handle: a residence; checking and savings accounts; and stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.  Other assets create their own unique complexities.  CEB, a publication of practice manuals for attorneys, has a volume entitled, Estate Planning for Special Assets.  The volume covers family businesses; vineyards, farms, and ranches; family vacation homes; out-of-state real property; pets; art and other collectibles; copyrights, patents, and trademarks; restricted securities; compensatory stock options; and even the disposition of a law practice.  

When helping my clients fund their assets to their trusts, in addition to titling specific assets to their trusts, I have them sign an “Assignment of Personal Property” that is quite broad and includes the following text:

“My tangible personal property includes all of my jewelry, clothing, household furniture, furnishings and fixtures, chinaware, silver, photographs, works of art, books, boats, automobiles, sporting goods, electronic equipment, musical instruments, artifacts relating to my hobbies, and all other tangible articles of personal property that I now own or later acquire, regardless of how they are acquired or the record title in which they are held.”

As comprehensive as these examples are, there is one “asset” I never considered in over a decade of practicing estate planning: tattoos.  I always knew that one had to carefully consider getting tattoos since they are permanent, but a new organization has taken the permanence of tattoos to a new level.

The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (“NAPSA”), which launched earlier this year, features a “tattoo preservation” program which allows you to preserve and then transfer your tattoos in the form of collectible art to your loved ones after your death.  NAPSA’s website provides a 9-step procedure for the preservation and transfer of your tattoos upon death as follows:

Step One: If you do not want to be defined by others, declare who you are today by registering for a NAPSA membership!

Step Two: Visit your profile to complete the straightforward online forms to ensure the preservation of your registered tattoo and that your Final Wish Fulfillment Benefit is activated.

Step Three: Share your plans for the preservation of your tattoos with your friends, family, and loved ones – show off your Membership Certificate! For those who you will entrust with your preserved art, download or order a Beneficiary Certificate.

Step Four: Enjoy all of your NAPSA benefits and interacting with our groundbreaking community of like-minded tattoo collectors, enthusiasts, and artists. Renew your annual NAPSA membership to ensure that your benefits remain active.

Step Five: Upon your passing, your Final Wish Beneficiary begins the quick and easy process to give NAPSA notice within 18 hours.

Step Six: Soon after the claims process begins, your Beneficiary is electronically provided detailed information covering the recovery and preservation process. A preservation kit, containing instructions and all the necessary equipment to recover, temporarily preserve, and safely ship your tattoo to NAPSA, is mailed overnight to the recovery provider (In most cases, your funeral home).

Step Seven: With the advice and support of the Association, your Beneficiary confirms that the recovery of your tattoo is undertaken in accordance with the instructions and with the equipment provided in our kit within 60 hours of your passing.

Step Eight: Upon NAPSA’s receipt of your art for preservation, the Final Wish Fulfillment Benefit will be mailed to your Final Wish Beneficiary.

Step Nine: In the following three to six months, your designated beneficiary will receive your beautifully preserved art!”

NAPSA’s website even features a “gallery” of preserved tattoos.  Each piece is nicely framed and tastefully presented.  
There is no doubt that NAPSA addresses a niche interest that will have a unique, yet strong, following.  

KRASA LAW, Inc. is located at 704-D Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, California and Kyle may be reached at 831-920-0205.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only.  Reading this article does not establish an attorney/client relationship.  Before acting on any of the information presented in this article, you should consult a competent attorney who is licensed to practice law in your community.