Here’s a legal question for you. Say you buy an old house once owned by a famous artist. While remodeling you discover an original painting behind a rack in the wine cellar. It is signed and dated by the artist and is unknown to the art world. It’s clearly worth a lot of money and you are thrilled to be the new owner. But then the grandchildren of the artist learn about it and sue you. They say they inherited all the artist’s unsold paintings and even though this one was stored in your new home, by the terms of the will it belongs to them. Does their claim hold water? What do you think?
I’m asking because the characters in my novel-in-progress ate faced with a similar predicament and I don’t have a handy judge or lawyer around. Your opinion could influence the entire course of fictional history!