Advising a Legendary Athlete’s Estate

Valuing an athlete’s or historical figure’s accumulation of documents, memorabilia, playing equipment, and more is a labor intensive and eye-opening task. At Anders, we currently have the distinct privilege of valuing the historical assets of Stan Musial.

Our role focuses primarily on how to accurately value the estate’s historical property, the memorabilia, as well as the intellectual property now controlled by the estate.  We also guide heirs through the sales options for maximizing these properties.  

Valuing the Memorabilia
While any estate shares common factors for successful management, those of athletes, or likewise, entertainers, artists, and historical figures, can require much more specialized advisors for the disposition of their unique property. In an athlete’s case, this includes items ranging from statues to jerseys and game balls to many other treasured items that they accumulate over their careers.

We have provided similar services to the heirs of Dr. James Naismith and Max Scharf and others. In all estates, ancillary products can also be created through a licensing program utilizing the estate’s control of the decedant’s image after death.  Biographies, artwork, and commemorative products honoring the deceased have all been projects that we have advised have undertaken.  Typically, the monetary goals in these projects have been secondary to the idea of continuing the public interest in their relative.

To begin the process of valuing any estate at Anders, we generate a complete inventory in order to get a grasp of the scope of the estate’s collection.  Once completed, the process of preparing the valuation can begin.  Premiums for the provenance of an item coming from the estate are commonly applied to items that have a fairly standard value.  Just how big those premiums can be, is easily seen in the sale of the estate of Jackie Onassis.  Golf clubs of her husband bringing over $770,000 and a cocktail shaker selling for $20,000 brought the collection’s final sales total to over $34 million on a pre-sale estimate of $4 million.

Estate Planning Tool
While the valuing of sports and entertainment memorabilia is typically outside what is typical in a CPA firm, and one of the reasons our group is unique; estate planning is certainly a more commonplace service.  A trend we have noticed over the past decade has been for athletes and historical figures to address the selling of memorabilia, while they still have some control in their estate planning.  Utilizing their much more specialized knowledge of their collection while they are still alive provides advisors such as Anders with an immense benefit.  Such input about the collection ultimately generates more revenue for the heirs.

Please check back to this blog before the end of September for more information on when and how to bid on some of the Musial one-of-a-kind items.