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Old 07-03-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
Charlie Stephens
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Default Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

After watching a couple of estates of old car friends being settled I decided to put together a document to include with my living trust as instructions for the distribution of my old cars and parts. The following is a first cut at the document. Note that the cars and parts are fictitious in this example so this can serve as a template for other old Ford owners. Your comments would be sincerely appreciated. Additional sources to advertise would be especially appreciated. My apologies in advance to non Ford owners but my cars and knowledge of advertising sites are all Fords. I intend to leave this on fordbarn for a while and then incorporate comments and post it on HAMB for their comments.


Guidance for Trust Executer

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to the executer of my trust regarding the distribution of my cars and parts. This document is for guidance and nothing in this document is intended to supersede the basic trust document.

If the car is going to stay in the family, you can probably, with the concurrence of the estate lawyer, use a reference such as the Old Cars Price Guide (available at Barnes & Noble book stores) to establish a value for the purpose of settling the estate.

If the car is determined to be junk donate it to a charity instead of calling a towing company and paying to have it removed.

Compare the VIN (or serial number) on the car with the paperwork if you are dealing with complete cars and not just parts. A mismatch can kill a sale plus will drag everything out if it is not started early.

Get many good digital photos. You will need to send them to people asking questions. Show exterior all views, engine compartment, upholstery, and as many other as need to show car completely. Include defects and problem areas.

If we are talking about selling a high dollar car (which I define as over $20K based on values shown in ďThe Old Cars Price GuideĒ) spend the money and hire a professional appraiser. Talk to the members of local clubs to find an appraiser. Maybe the estate lawyer has one they can recommend. Get a professional appraiser and not someone with an interest in buying the car. As a check bounce this number off of some members of a local club. Check for sale ads for similar cars. Remember that low mileage original cars carry a premium. At this time you should have an idea about what you can sell the car for.

Probably the best place for national advertising is Hemmingís Motor news (available at Barnes & Noble). Remember when advertising that it may not be worth the money to get national exposure since most cars will sell within a couple of hundred miles. Ebay is a good place to sell a car or major parts.


Cars and major parts currently covered by trust. The dollar values shown are rough estimates as of the date at the bottom of this document and should be verified dollar value shown next to each entry is a guess at the time this document was signed and is intended to be used for guidance only. Omission of cars and/or parts from this list is not intended to exclude them from the trust nor is inclusion intended to add them to the trust.

1927 Model T roadster___________$XX
1931 Model A roadster___________$XX
1932 Early V8 2 door sedan_______$XX


NOS 1932 Ford engine___________$XX

Ownership papers for the cars are located ______________________. All cars have current registration or non operation status so if duplicated ownership documents are required they may be requested from the state DMV. Keys are hanging _____________. Duplicate keys are in my safe deposit box located _________________.

Recommended people to contact for support. These are people in the hobby that I trust and have asked for their support should it be required. Their membership in national organizations may be useful to place ads at no cost. If they are to be actively involved in selling the cars/parts pay them.

Model Tís:_______________
Alternate_______________
Model Aís:_______________
Alternate:_______________
Early V8ís:_______________
Alternate:_______________

For any car go to the national club web sites and find the local clubs. The national web sites are:

For Model Tís: mtfc.org

For Model Aís: mafca.com and modelaford.org

For early V8ís: earlyfordv8.org

Write a letter, call and/or attend local club meetings with pictures. Ask if they would place an ad in their monthly newsletter. If the club is smart they will do this at no cost as a service to their members. If they want more than a token amount for the ad just skip their club and tell them why. Unless you car is very unusual it will probably sell to someone within a couple of hundred miles. Contact all of the clubs within this radius. Remember if you contact the clubs by email to include photos with your email as there is a good chance that someone will forward you email to a general distribution list for the club. You should plan on a couple of months for information to work its way through the system. Newsletters have cut off dates and your request may go through a couple of people before it finally gets to the editor of the newsletter. Advertise the cars with a best offer at the end of the two month period and reserve the right to reject any or all offers. If things donít sell, and it is possible, wait a year and try again.

There are several web sites that have classified sections (be sure your vehicle ends up in the right section). Ads are free but donations cheerfully accepted. Place these ads within a couple of weeks before the closing dates in the club newsletters. These sites are:

Fordbarn.com (separate sections for T, A, V8)

Ahooga.com (A)

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/ (T, A, V8 plus other makes)

The final question is what to do with all of those extra parts. Try to package them with the complete cars to the greatest extent possible. Most of the parts in my garage are in boxes marked to show which car they go to. Another outlet is to contact the local antique auto parts suppliers and get a bid on the lot. Since these people must haul, sort, inventory and sell these parts their prices will be less than if you sell the parts yourself. Maybe have an auction with members of local clubs present. After you have sold all that you can donate them to a local car club or tell the members they can have them for free. This is better and cheaper than paying someone to haul them away.


Signed:__________

Dated:___________
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:48 AM   #2
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

You've touched on a subject most people don't want to talk or think about, yet it's inevitable. JMO
Paul in CT
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:34 AM   #3
Sid the Maineiac
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

A neighbor of mine who had several collectible cars passed on about a month ago.Age 59 and never any health problems.Went to bed and never got up.It happens,and very few are prepared.This is good advice for people to consider.Thank you!
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:50 AM   #4
BILL WZOREK
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

WHAT YOU TALKING ABOUT WILLIS:
I thought i was gong to last forever.

Chuck this is a very good idea.
I am sure there is a lot of use my self included that never thought about what we have put together over the years / ( COLLECTED )

I thing it is good advice to rethink our Will's every 6 months or so.
Things change / people change.
People that we may have listed in our Will's unfortunately may no longer be with us now.

I for one say thanks for making me think about it.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:43 AM   #5
chuck stevens
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

Charlie,
Thank you very much for sharing this with us. I have down loaded it for my wife, hey we're all getting older and things like this will be very valuable in times of greaf. Great job, thanks Chuck.

PS: I think you spell your name wrong- Charles Stevens, Just kidding.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:35 AM   #6
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Not a bad idea, thanks.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

Charlie, thanks for the info. I have a living trust up to date ,each car, truck, goes to a daughter,and each of three grandsons get's one ,and the parts for ea. of those cars,trucks.your guidance document will help them in case they wish to sell.(I hope not) Harold central coast Ca.
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

After a few heart attacks, I have sold the "T","A"s King Midget, motercycles, 40s (Fords) Keep a 36/5,win just to enjoy for a while. This way I know they will be taken care of. My children and grandkids only want the new junk. None of them can even shift a Cloumbria. Bob
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

Charlie, I have been thinking about this for a couple of years. It's time for me to do it! Thanks for your thoughts and the incentive to get started.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

Charlie, I hate to say it but I think you will be creating a real headache for whomever has to clean up after you. It all sounds good, but in truth it creates a huge job for the executor in an area that they will probably have absolutely no experience or even interest. "Huge job" translates to "Expensive" and the activity described will milk your estate dry. Compare it to if you had to follow the same process to get the best buck out of your deceased sister's lifetime Barbie doll collection. That's a lot of work for something you would probably have little interest in and no incentive to do a thorough job.

The best way to handle this that I have seen happened last summer. A friend had a family of five siblings who all wanted parts of his Model T & A collection. It was an impossible situation. They all agreed to have an auction and bid on the things they wanted. Some of them did not get what they wanted because they did not bid high enough, but agreed that the estate did better and they did receive their fair share of the proceeds so nobody got cheated. If they had really wanted the item they could have bid higher but it was their choice. And they did not have to go through all the work you suggested because the auctioneer took care of everything and all of the stuff got sold at market rate, even the junk. And at a much lower fee than the attorney or executor would have charged the estate! A side benefit was that a lot of family and old friends came to the auction and talked to the family about the deceased and they felt better about it afterwards.

It might not have gone the way you as the deceased wanted it to, but like they say you can't take it with you. And you can't really tell people what to do once you are gone, no matter how much that Model A meant to you.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

Cool Hand. I'm like you . Sell it. If they want it bid on it.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:08 PM   #12
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Hand Lurker View Post
Charlie, I hate to say it but I think you will be creating a real headache for whomever has to clean up after you. It all sounds good, but in truth it creates a huge job for the executor in an area that they will probably have absolutely no experience or even interest. "Huge job" translates to "Expensive" and the activity described will milk your estate dry. Compare it to if you had to follow the same process to get the best buck out of your deceased sister's lifetime Barbie doll collection. That's a lot of work for something you would probably have little interest in and no incentive to do a thorough job.

The best way to handle this that I have seen happened last summer. A friend had a family of five siblings who all wanted parts of his Model T & A collection. It was an impossible situation. They all agreed to have an auction and bid on the things they wanted. Some of them did not get what they wanted because they did not bid high enough, but agreed that the estate did better and they did receive their fair share of the proceeds so nobody got cheated. If they had really wanted the item they could have bid higher but it was their choice. And they did not have to go through all the work you suggested because the auctioneer took care of everything and all of the stuff got sold at market rate, even the junk. And at a much lower fee than the attorney or executor would have charged the estate! A side benefit was that a lot of family and old friends came to the auction and talked to the family about the deceased and they felt better about it afterwards.

It might not have gone the way you as the deceased wanted it to, but like they say you can't take it with you. And you can't really tell people what to do once you are gone, no matter how much that Model A meant to you.
Cool Hand Lurker,

You are absolutely right about someone trying to follow these instructions that is making $400 an hour and has no knowledge about what they are doing. The problem is that I may be missing details about the settlement of a will. I must admit I know little about the settlement of wills and naively assumed they were similar. Does a will require an attorney or attorneys staff to be an executer? I don't know but if anyone does I would like to know. Reference to wills should be deleted from my write up and executer should be changed to trustee. I was advised by my attorney that the size of my estate (and it is not that big but includes my house) made a living trust the best document for planning and at that point lost interest in the fine points of a will. With a living trust you appoint trustees (friends not lawyers, choose them well) with successor trustees in case one is not available or chooses not to accept the responsibility. The trustees can serve at no cost. There is no fee established for the trustees but if they tried to bill the estate an outrageous amount I think the heirs could contest it in court. Thank you for your comments. I think by having a closed bid auction over a two month period I have accomplished almost the same thing. How did you advertise your auction? What do you think of eBay for the complete cars of major parts (maybe group the parts into a lot and put them on eBay) which creates an open bid auction?

Charlie Stephens

Last edited by Charlie Stephens; 07-05-2010 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

Yeah, I agree with Lurker. My suggestion is to create a document for your primary beneficiary, not attempt to create a legal document. Basically take inventory of what you got, put a price on it and give it to the primary beneficiary. No lawyers. Of course the value of this all gets taken into acct. when your estate is settled, so be careful and realistic on the values. I would tend to be conservative. Or you could tell your beneficiary to work with a trusted friend, or even an estate auction house that specializes in stuff like this. But to attempt to make a legal document with the vaguaries contained in your note would be a huge mess and hassle for your heirs. If you want to do it right, then you need to get an estate planner (ie attorney) involved. I can't stand attorneys but sadly, in American culture they are a fact of life.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

One more thing. I know a lot of us want to "do it our selves" to get the best value out of everything. But keep in mind, our heirs probably don't care, some of them just want it gone, others want to make a shrine. But very few, I believe, will want to go through piece by piece, research prices/rarity, etc. then find a way to maximize profit selling parts or cars. So they will be ok with having an estate auction house handling it all. They are also in mourn and taking the time to deal with all that, as well as everything else they need to deal with, will likely be too much. Try to keep that in mind and make it as easy as possible for them.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:32 PM   #15
Charlie Stephens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comet View Post
Yeah, I agree with Lurker. My suggestion is to create a document for your primary beneficiary, not attempt to create a legal document. Basically take inventory of what you got, put a price on it and give it to the primary beneficiary. No lawyers. Of course the value of this all gets taken into acct. when your estate is settled, so be careful and realistic on the values. I would tend to be conservative. Or you could tell your beneficiary to work with a trusted friend, or even an estate auction house that specializes in stuff like this. But to attempt to make a legal document with the vaguaries contained in your note would be a huge mess and hassle for your heirs. If you want to do it right, then you need to get an estate planner (ie attorney) involved. I can't stand attorneys but sadly, in American culture they are a fact of life.
I am not trying to create a legal document, my Living Trust is the binding legal document. In my first paragraph I state this document, which will be unattached in a file with my Living Trust document, is for guidance and does not change the basic trust document (I think that that means it does not have to be followed, but I will ask my attorney). Maybe I need to emphasize that more. After I finish this I intend to show it to my attorney that prepared my Living Trust. As far as attorneys go (and wanting to avoid them) I have been through settling a Living Trust before and I know from experience it is much cheaper for your heirs if you see an attorney before hand than leave it for them to resolve after you are gone. As far as trusted (and knowledgeable) friends go, that is why I included their names in the document.

Charlie Stephens
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Old Cars and Trusts/Wills

This is an awesome idea and something I think everybody who is in our hobby should think about doing as we grow older. I know from experience that leaving your widow and your heirs an outline of what you would like down with the cars and car parts of your estate will help them out immensely during the grieving process after you have passed. My father passed away, at the age 61, and left my family with his collection of nearly two-hundred cars and thousand's of individual car parts. Luckily for my family, I have a passion for old cars and willingly took on the overwhelming task of identifying, organizing, pricing, and liquidating all of the cars and parts of his estate.

One of the most important pieces of advice my family received was from another widow who's husband was into early Ford's and had passed away a decade earlier. She called us as soon as she found out my father had passed to tell us this.
Quote:
"You think you're thinking clearly, but you're not. You don't have to make any major decisions right way, take your time. The vultures are coming, you'll find out who your true friends are."
It is still to this very day the best advice I've ever received about how to handle my father's estate. The important information my father had given to my family before he passed was the small list of individuals who we could trust to talk openly with about liquidating his estate. It was a huge relief to have a handful of people who we talk with and not have to worry about the possibility of them taken advantage of us in our vulnerable state of mind.

It's a harsh thing to say, but the vultures will descend upon your estate once you're gone. We received the first phone call asking about the cars and parts LESS THEN 24 HOURS AFTER MY FATHER HAD PASSED AWAY! Even though the first six months after my father passed are a blur in my mind, the one thing I do remember is how often the phone kept ringing with people asking about the cars and parts. It seemed as if everyone who called "knew my father very well", and every tenth person who called, wanted to tell us "your father promised to sell me this or that certain car or part." Before I get to carried away and write a novel on this subject I'll try to summarize the three main areas to address: Who?, Where? and How? Who can we trust after your gone? Where is everything at? and How would you like everything to be sold off?
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