...when I'm gone

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by 60103, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    After reading the comments on the five questions thread, I want to give you a bit to think about.

    What is likely to happen to your trains after you die? There are 2 considerations: do you care what happens to what you have carefully collected or constructed? will your family get (at least) proper monetary value from them?

    A lady asked her ex-husband's son what had happened to his dad's Lionel after he died. "Those old trains? I gave them to the Salvation Army". A basement full.

    After a friend of his died, one modeller was given a bag of what had been superdetailed locomotives and cars. The trains had been "looked after" by someone and the American ones taken off and sold, but the English ones were dumped in the bag because they couldn't identify them and given to an English modeller. It was heatbreaking, apparently.

    There are a few more stories, but you get the idea.

    You should have someone that you trust who can tell your family how to dispose of your equipment. Your family should have an idea of what its worth.
  2. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    David
    You've opened a can of worms here. I don't doubt for a moment you will get some interesting and passionate responses.

    Personally, I'm involved in RR modelling for my own amusement/satisfaction. I consider I have already retreived the $$ value of what I have in terms of my pleasure over the years.
    You may be surprised to find that the British don't think in the same way as Americans when it comes to money. My own philosophy is that happiness is the most important part of life, NOT money (although admittedly money helps profide happiness).

    It would be nice to think our survivors, if they have no interest in model RR's, could at least get some money for what I leave behind but I would be past worrying about it!

    I could also open a can of worms and state that whatever we pay for brand new goods, as soon as we leave the store with them, their value is 25% of what we paid! .... you don't believe me? OK the loco you bought for $60 cost $6 to manufacture. You know why we pay $60 for the item in the first place? ... we are emotionally driven! also, what we bought was the only game in town at the time so pay up or do without.

    My wife has been advised to photograph my brass items and other locos and place them on e-bay for whatever they fetch. As for the rest, it doesn't really matter.

    I honestly think my demise and a lonely future would have more of an effect on her than "What is his stuff worth?"

    I doubt anyone in model railroading has the equivelant value of equipment that can compare with, say a Rembrant, or a Louis 12th dressing table. So what we have really amounts to a hill of beans.

    I'm the last one to demean what any others in this forum may own, our views are varied and therefore most likely contravertial.

    What you read into my post is up to you, it is simply my opinion.
    I just hope this thread doesn't extend to 40 pages and cause animosity.

    Errol
  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    David,
    I shall go into Suspended Animation until they can find a cure for old age, then I shall return to Badger Creek.

    I doubt very much if anyone in my family will bother to keep it, more likely they will take it down and sell it off.

    [​IMG]
  4. From what I have observed on eBay, if it is N scale "British Outline" motive power, its value quadruples the minute it leaves the hobby shop! Almost US$200 for a Rivarossi-made 4-6-0???

    You folks on the other side of the pond better make sure your heirs know how to sell on eBay!
  5. billk

    billk Active Member

    I hope I never accumulate enough stuff , model railroad stuff included, to the point where who inherits it becomes a concern. If I do, I got too much stuff and will give it away while I'm still here!
  6. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Hey !!!
    Not to worry !. Model railroaders never die,,,,,,,,
    they just lose track.

    Oh, we all know that when they remove Shamus from suspenden animation, and cure him of old age, he'll immediately start a NEW Badger Creek ! And,,,,,

    When He's done, they can remove me, and cure me, so I can go SEE the NEW Badger Creek.
    Pete
  7. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    Quite frankly, I'll be dead, so it won't matter to me. I whole heartedly agree with Errol in that this is for me and even the time I spend with my son and, hopefully, my daughter in the future is also for me. I have received full value in time spent, perhaps one of my children will want to continue with it, if not, give it to the local boy's and girls club.

    If they enjoy it, I'll consider it a bonus.
  8. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    I'll have to agree with Errol also. Everyone in this house thinks I'm nuts putting all the time into my layout. I've already told one daughter that she should find someone starting out in modeling and give it all to them because I got my use out of it. She told me she would keep it as long as she lives. Buy the way shes the one who gets the house the layouts in.
  9. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    I have most of my "valuable" railroad itimes all catologued, priced and photographed. I managed to video tape the layout a while back but not recently. No this was not done for the benifit of others after my departure. This was done for insurance purposes only. With the way the economic situation is going out here in the west coast of Canada the crime rate is booming. The number of residential break ins is at a staggering rate. The big worry is not the theives interested in model trains, there is lots of other things that would bring a quicker sale for them. What I am seeing is what is left over after the individuals ( let me just leave it at that) break in and vandalize everything. Things are smashed, holes in the walls, food stuff from the fridge poured all over furniture then slashed, sinks and bath tubs plugged and the water left running, and so forth. This seems to be the latest trend with these individuals. This is what concerns us. When we re did out insurance policy a few years ago our insurance person recomended that things be at least photographed and put in a safe place other than the residance, we use a safty deposit box ( we just put in the negatives and video tape along with the list and prices of itimes) I also am concerned about fire, it does occasionaly occur with no one to blame, things do happen.
    Here on the west coast of Canada there is a few hobby shops that do estate sales for families, their prices are fair and they only charge a minimal fee. Our local club has been approached numerous times from families with trains to get rid of, we usually send a couple of knowledgable members over to give the family an idea of the value of the products then direct them to a reputable hobby shops that does estate sales.
    I know it takes time to do all this but I have known people that are in this and other hobbies that after something has happened they wished they had done it.
    Food for thought everyone.. Ron.
  10. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hmmmm! Not a happy thought but obviously one that all "dead serious" modelers must face. :(

    Having no family, the local museum gets my structures where of all things they will be displayed in of all things their "folkart" collection. A good friend gets my locos and rolling stock...mostly brass and/or scratchbuilt/kitbashed and whatever else is still lying around.

    What happens to the rest?...The new owners of my home will have one hell of a time tearing down the benchwork and scenery.
    Kinda wish I would be around when they discover that part of the benchwork is tied into the wall studs!!!!:p :D and there's over 500 pounds of Hydrocal plaster to haul away!!:D :p

    On a serious note though.... Its never too soon to make "arrangements" for one's modeling efforts in the event of an untimely demise. If you haven't already done so...do it and do it in writing.

    Seen on a bumper sticker..."He who dies with the most trains wins"...Take Care and Have Fun:) :D :p
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    ...and when I die...

    ...And when I'm gone...................- (Blood Sweat & Tears - Late 60's)

    Well, this is an interesting thread.

    I just started "Looking into the future". I am using Railfan Express to begin cataloging all my equipment. In the listings, I am entering the person's name or the local Museum, where I would like to see each item go.

    I'm 43, so I hope I will be here to see it completed. :)

    My wife has been saying for a few years now that we should start a will. What better way to begin than something I can focus on.

    I have already informed the Museum, where I volunteer, I am leaving them things in my will.... Hopefully not TOO quickly.. :D
  12. bobrien

    bobrien Member

    Die ??? Die?????
    Ha! not me - never! I am immortal. And besides if I tip over, and anyone does anything nasty or inconsiderate to anything I leave behind (including dogs and wife) then I will come back and haunt the bejesus out of them anyway.
    But I do get the point.
    Where's my lawyer's phone number..........................
  13. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Ron made some very good points about the value of one's trains. So often the surviors of a modeler have no idea of what the worth of trains are. It might be a good idea that in addition to setting out as to who gets what that you at least leave them with a minimal value of your equiptment in the event they may wish to dispose of it by sale. So often the grieved put an inflated value on things for sentimental reasons and on the other hand there are those out there that "circle like vultures" just waiting to take advantage of the bereaved by offering low-ball prices for things that really do have value.
  14. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    Worth? Value? You guys must have more in your equipment than I have.

    I have assisted with cataloging two 'collections' of deceased friends and it wasn't pleasant. Also, there wasn't much in actual value although there was a lot of 'stuff'. As for me, my kids can take whatever they might want and give the rest to someone who is beginning, a scout troup, a club or the NMRA to dispose of. It really doesn't matter as there is only the value to me and I won't care. The ECI will not survive my death.

    I just hope that it won't be TOO hot where I'll be. :)

    Roger

    Roger Hensley – madisonrails@railfan.net
    == http://cid.railfan.net/eci_new.html ==
    == East Central Indiana HO Scale Railroad ==
  15. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    You're right of course Vic, it's those "Vultures" that hack me off.
    All points made so far are valid except for Pete's .... PETE, GET IN LINE! already the queue is quite long :D :D .

    Shamus, you'll have to sell some of your gear to keep us in beer!:D .

    Errol
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    about those vultures:
    We have an ex-Naval man in our club who gets quite indignant about the low valuing of an estate. Apparently, in the Navy, when a sailor dies his kit is auctioned off to his shipmates who pay high prices because they know its going to his widow who won't have much to survive on.

    When I'm gone is a song by Phil Ochs. The next line is "So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here".
  17. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    More On Vultures

    Not that it matters a hill of beans to me what my trains are worth once I'm gone 'cause it won't matter to me then nor does it now.

    But just an "example" of vultures....About 5 years ago a close friend of mine passed away suddenly. He was a man of modest means but his passion in life was building and flying 1/4 scale and 1/2 scale radio controled airplanes. His widow decided that she would offer his planes, equiptment and tools to his buddies in the local model flying club because she felt that they would be fair with her about the value. A few weeks later she called me in tears saying that all she had been offered for the entire lot was a measley $1500. At this point I stepped in. When the smoked cleared the grand total was $24,600 and the lot of it in cash! Enough for a new car and a well deserved trip to Europe for her!
    My commision....Zero!....What one does in friendship is repayment enough.

    Now if Errol and Shamus will kindly go and fetch the beer we can get this "wake" over with :D :p
  18. RI541

    RI541 Member

    My ex-wife will probrobly get my trains,one more last jab in the ribs.My (new ) wife already knows whats what and its value so that'll be taken care of before the ex comes over.

    Besides that I'm taken some of it with me.At least two locos half a dozen cars and a caboose.I gota have something to play with :D :D But I am seriously taken some with me.
  19. gromit

    gromit New Member

    I could also open a can of worms and state that whatever we pay for brand new goods, as soon as we leave the store with them, their value is 25% of what we paid! .... you don't believe me? OK the loco you bought for $60 cost $6 to manufacture. You know why we pay $60 for the item in the first place? ... we are emotionally driven! also, what we bought was the only game in town at the time so pay up or do without.

    Actually a 300% to 500% markup is pretty standard for anything manufactured. The $6 cost of making the loco does not take into account the Research and Development investment to design the loco in the first place, advertising, other expenses and of course they are not a non-profit charity, they are in the bussinss to make money. Often manufacters deal with distributers that in turn sell to stores and everyone gets boost the price of the item 50 to 100% to get there cut.

    In some ways you might think that your getting ripped off paying so much more for the item then it cost to make, on the other hand, think how things would be like without a good distrubution system. One example would be the food shortages in the Soviet Union weren't caused by not enough food grown, but more often food rotting in frieght cars because there was no incentive for the workers to speed the delievery to the market. On the other hand we look at Japan and see too many middle men all marking up items making everything much more expensive. A Sam's club or Walmart could make a killing in Japan if they could ever get the approvals to build. :rolleyes:
  20. gromit

    gromit New Member

    Quite frankly, I'll be dead, so it won't matter to me. I whole heartedly agree with Errol in that this is for me and even the time I spend with my son and, hopefully, my daughter in the future is also for me. I have received full value in time spent, perhaps one of my children will want to continue with it, if not, give it to the local boy's and girls club.

    So it doesn't bother you that someone could potentially take advantage of your family that you leave behind and get your valueable train set for pennies on the dollar. If you really don't care what happens after you die, may I ask why you bother to pay for life insurance? :confused:

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