Our cover this month, “Il Re Dell’Africa” (55 in. by 39 in.), by an unknown designer, sold for $650 at Swann Auction Galleries’ Monsters and Maidens Sale in New York on Dec. 18, 2012. This particular image is taken from the poster for the Italian release of “Mighty Joe Young.” Originally conceived in an attempt to capitalize on the commercial success of “King Kong” and its numerous re-issues, “Mighty Joe Young” was a box-office flop. It did, however, win the 1949 Academy Award for Special Effects on the strength of the work of legendary stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen. As a result, it’s considered a landmark film by special effects artists and maintains a large cult following among stop-motion enthusiasts.

For the past several months, the estate-planning community has been dealing with it’s own 800-pound gorilla in the room in the form of the fiscal cliff negotiations and the possible sunset of the Bush-era tax cuts. Now that answers have started to trickle in, such as the $5 million gift and estate tax exemptions (adjusted for inflation) being made permanent, we as advisors can begin to formulate more tangible long-term estate plans for our clients.