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For Memorabilia Collectors, Estate Planning Can Be Fun


When you were a kid, collecting baseball cards was fun; once you went to college, many of your peers had outgrown the hobby.  Meanwhile, your parents started telling you that your baseball card collection was kid stuff, and at some point, they might have even given you a deadline to get your own apartment and move your collection into it, or it was going into the dumpster.  Years later, even though you lived within your means and could afford to keep collecting, you often got the idea that your wife thought that your drive to continue building your collection was childish, even though she could not deny how happy it made you.  Even though your kids enjoyed going to baseball games with you, they didn’t quite understand your enthusiasm for baseball cards.  (This story assumes that you are a Baby Boomer.  If you are a member of Generation X, then substitute “action figures” or “Legos” for “baseball cards.”)  From an estate planning perspective, though, you might get to have the last laugh.  A meticulously maintained and curated collection of memorabilia could be worth millions.  Contact a Central Florida estate planning lawyer to find out more about how your memorabilia collection affects your estate plan.

Tampa Doctor’s Estate Auctions Collection That Includes World’s Most Valuable Baseball Card

Thomas Newman’s story is similar to that of many Baby Boomers.  He collected baseball cards as a child, but when he was a young adult, his collection fell victim to his mother’s spring cleaning.  Once he had the means to do so, he began rebuilding his collection, starting with replacements for the cards he had owned as a child.  Between the 1980s and his death in 2021, Newman collected thousands of items of sports memorabilia: mostly baseball cards, but also football cards and basketball cards, and even a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.  He had boxes full of cards at home and others at his Tampa medical office, where he worked as a neurologist.

Newman died of COVID-19 in January 2021, and his estate is auctioning his sports memorabilia collection, which has an estimated value of $20 million.  Currently, the record for the highest sale price of a baseball card at auction is $5.7 million, and it belongs to a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sold more than a decade ago.  One of the cards in Newman’s collection, a 1933 Babe Ruth card, may sell for more than that.

Most of the time, personal property is just stuff, more an annoyance than an asset from an estate planning perspective.  If you need a project in retirement or to pass the time until your grandchildren are vaccinated, appraising your memorabilia collection is a good one.

Contact an Attorney for Help

Thomas Newman called his baseball cards his “paper babies.”  Your Clearwater estate planning lawyer will treat your memorabilia collection and all your property with just as much care.  Contact William Rambaum for help today.



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