Graded Baseball Cards as an Estate Planning Tool
Your baseball card collection obviously has sentimental value. If it is like most serious collections it probably has a substantial monetary value as well. Unfortunately, this value is sometimes lost to heirs and other family members who are left to deal with an estate. We have all heard the stories about cards being unceremoniously dumped in the trash or sold off at a yard sale for literally pennies. How does a collector prevent this from happening to his lifelong collection? The answer partially lies in sports card grading companies.
The esoteric collector may collect T206 overprints or rare backs or error cards. Maybe a collection is just straightforward vintage tobacco commons. What about modern collectors? Who in your family understands the Billy Ripken f**kface card or the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas no number on front variation and what your baseball cards are worth? Maybe you have no heirs to pass the collection to as a collection. Many families will end up disposing of a sports card collection in the aftermath of the collector’s death. How can graded cards help them when it comes time to sell baseball cards?
Graded cards are great tools to help your family. Many families have been lied to when they go to dispose of a baseball card collection. Dealers may call them reprints, misidentify set or player on purpose and under grade condition. All of this can mean less money for your family when they may need it the most. The slabs from PSA, SGC or Beckett will clearly identify the card set, year and a condition grade. Just this basic information will go a long way in helping heirs look up cards online either on eBay or with one of the various grading card price guide companies.
Many long time collectors hate graded cards and prefer raw cards. Think of the future and when you are not around. It might be wise to get the really valuable cards graded for the protection of your family. Arrangements can be made to sell baseball cards with a reputable auction house or consignor as well, but give some thought to using graded cards as an estate planning tool. It is really easy to show people in your family what the information on a slab means and how to use it to properly broker your collection.