Please plan ahead

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Greg_Lewis
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Please plan ahead

Post by Greg_Lewis » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:54 pm

Author and playwright William Saroyan once said he knew man was mortal, but he thought an exception would be made in his case. It didn’t work out that way, and recent threads about live steam suppliers that have disappeared brings this to mind once again. At some point, it will be time for every one of us to let go of our tools and trains.

And I fear that in too many cases family members may not realize what has been left behind, and things that are valuable to us may look like junk to them and end up in a dumpster. So I throw out this gentle reminder to everyone, regardless of age (young people do die…), to take an hour or so and write a “letter of instruction,” that lays out what is to be done with your stuff. Point out what is particularly valuable, and suggest what you’d like done with it. Take photos and print them out, and label them. Leaving pix only in a computer file is not wise, as that can be easily lost. Be sure your family knows where the letter is and, ideally, have a second copy at a different site. Please. It won’t take long to do this.

We learned this the hard way. My father-in-law had a complete woodworking shop that included his father’s tools from the early 1900s. A sudden heart attack took my wife’s father just after we were married, and we didn’t know what to do. All the tools were sold; something I now regret.

We were fortunate with my parents as they had wills and a trust. When the time came to close out their estates, it was smooth and trouble-free.

Taking the lessons of both the above, my wife and I have visited with an attorney and have everything set up. Letters of instruction, wills, powers of attorney for health care and financial management, and in our case, a family trust. (If you own a home, investigate a trust.) The cost was minimal and well worth it.

This is something that’s easy to put off, but please, do your family a big favor and take care of this while you are able to make your wishes known.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

steamingdon
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by steamingdon » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:28 am

Very wise advise. After 27 years I have accumulated a lot of Live Steam stuff and machine tools. I have made such arrangement in my Will. My family, wife, have no interest in what I do as a hobby and would not want to be bothered with the distribution of L.S. hobby stuff. My stuff will NOT end up in the dumpster. ( I hope) :)
steamer

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rudd
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by rudd » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:26 pm

I had a cancer scare - yup, I had it, now I don't. Whew. Got a great new scar out of the deal though!
I put a value on each of my machines (damn low), where to post them, and people around town that could help.
I made sure that "lathe" mentioned the toolholders and accessories in the cabinets that were to go with it. Likewise with the other machines.
If all the accessories for each machine go with that machine, there should not be a whole lot left to deal with.

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NP317
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by NP317 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:40 pm

My Daughter-in-Law will be inheriting my machine shop. She's delighted! She knows how to use the machines.
Problem solved.
~RN

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Bill Shields
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by Bill Shields » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:44 pm

leaving it all to my wife to sort out.

at that point, I won't care....
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

Patio
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by Patio » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:54 pm

Once the family has taken what they want, I told mine to hire an auctioneer, as he will get the most out of it.
Live for the moment!
Prepare for tomorrow!
Forgive the past!

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SteveM
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by SteveM » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:39 pm

After my dad passed away, we had to clear out 55 years of accumulation. We had actually started six months earlier, as he hadn't been in any condition to use the shop for more than five years.

When going thru stuff, my brothers would throw things in the scrap metal pile and I would pull it out to see what it was. A pair of those items just sold on ebay for a combined $499.

We found two pints of a chemical that sells on ebay for $75 per tablespoon.

I am currently in the process of going thru my entire shop, organizing and labeling everything.

Steve

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by Greg_Lewis » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:18 pm

Steve's experience is part of the reason for my original post. I've seen stuff sold for way too cheap, or tossed out, because the family didn't know what it was. I've also been to auctions where The Thing was an assembly of several components, but the components were spread about the shop and were not grouped back together by the auctioneer. Thus The Thing was rendered useless as the parts were sold to different bidders. (And the fact that they bid on the parts showed that the bidders didn't know what it was either.)

My wife and I have been the key family members for downsizing or closing out estates 16 times, so we have a good idea of what it involves. Sometimes there isn't the time or resources to go through everything, so some sort of guide or, as I wrote above, a letter of instruction that outlines what's important, is most valuable.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

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gwrdriver
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by gwrdriver » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:37 am

A few years ago I helped the family (all daughters) dispose of my long-time friend and mentor's extensive workshop. What an ordeal that was, but the girls received far more than they ever dreamed it would be worth, considering they almost accepted an offer of $500 to essentially "Clear all that junk out for you."

Recently my daughter (my only heir) and I agreed that we needed to have "A Day in the Workshop", where I would describe/explain everything in there, and anywhere else there my be items with no obvious (to her) purpose. I said that the downsizing has already begun, but much will remain and one never knows when time's up. She will of course do what she wants, but I wanted her to be aware that what might seem to be a small nameless lump might be worth quite a bit . . . and warn her off the offers of "I'll clear all that junk out for you."
GWRdriver
Nashville TN

Steve Bratina
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by Steve Bratina » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:35 am

All my stuff is going to geocache. I thought this was the way to go after seeing all of those guys looking for "the BIG W".

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SteveM
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by SteveM » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:12 pm

gwrdriver wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:37 am
. . and warn her off the offers of "I'll clear all that junk out for you."
Reminds me of the guy that used to advertise around here that would "clear out" for NO COST all those old guitars and amps lying around your house.

Steve

Steve Alley
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Re: Please plan ahead

Post by Steve Alley » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:40 pm

Well Greg I have a trust, but what I have bought in the past three years is mind blowing . Just the 2 1/2" stuff and the plans are all over and partly finish. I would need a lawyer to follow me around for a week. Just to get up to speed. I have no one for this to go to. All my Niece and nephews don't want it. Brother would know what to do with it. and to put a price on Allen Models alone, with the expansion is unknown. Any thoughts. My plan is always to get what I can done in 10 to 15 years expansion of all the engines. I got 6 loco's when I bought the company. Now 9 working on 10 and the 3 for the 2 1/2". but there's more. Just seen that the Chloe with the Fitchburg parts and One Arch bar truck behind it. 2-4-4 There is one in a special park in Ontario CA. If you know what I mean. Funny Know one I know has built one. and all the parts are right here right now. Gears are turning.
So with all the changes and additions to Allen. I have in the future more that double the size of this company.
Yes I need to get with notes and picture, Since you have done this. Want to have a Job. Ha Ha. but I do need help. I like to say this is a winter job, but Sales is to the point I need to hire someone. I need a person that can drive a truck and trailer to haul rail products. This side is getting to be full time. Just saying. What to do?

Steve

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