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Disputed Ownership of Warhol Painting of Farah Fawcett

A recent dispute has broken out regarding the ownership of an Andy Warhol painting of 70's iconic beauty Farrah Fawcett. Warhol had given Fawcett two silk screen paintings that he painted of her.

In 2009, Fawcett died after a lengthy fight against cancer. She had a complete estate plan that included a will and trust. In her trust, Fawcett left her art collection to the University of Texas, her alma mater. The University received one of the paintings, but not the other.

The University of Texas has brought a lawsuit to obtain the second painting.

Dispute Over Personal Property Ownership

The second Warhol painting of Fawcett remains with Fawcett's ex-boyfriend Ryan O'Neal. Recently, the University of Texas sued O'Neal arguing that the painting belonged to Fawcett at the time of her death and as part of her art collection belongs to the University.

O'Neal countered the argument by alleging that he was also friends with Warhol and the painting was actually given to him. The painting remains in the possession of O'Neal.

The ownership of the painting could be resolved by looking at who insured the painting. Another straightforward way to determine ownership will be to review photographs to see whether the painting was displayed at Fawcett's home.

One way to avoid these types of arguments is to include detailed bequeaths of valuable property in a will or trust document. Including details of valuable property avoids such disputes over what was included in an art collection or a set of china.

Source: Forbes, "Did Ryan O'Neal Steal Painting From Farrah Fawcett's Estate?" Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Jan. 9, 2012

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