My condolences to the family of the SK. To be honest, the sale of estate gear can really turn in to a big headache. Our club has had three of these SK estates in the last year or two. We have tried to do this differently each time and I am not sure if any option is better than the other. Here are the three ways we have dot this:
1. Appoint a club member / estate manager (honest and compassionate) and have him arrange to meet with the widow or family. View all the equipment and decide what has real value and what doesn't. Honestly, we all know hams collect so much stuff. I have 4 or 5 totes in the garage right now of stuff that is useless after I am gone. Decide on whether the family wants a percentage of the items that are sold and agree to some percentage for the club. We used 15-20% to family and 5-10% for club. The manager can either post items among club members, or sell online, or swap meets / hamfest. We had a special swap meet with a nearby club and sold some of the items that way.
2. Point them to a club member or someone that is a "hamfest vendor." Let them negotiate with the family for items. Only problem with this method, is sometimes, not all, of these hamfest dealers can be a bit scrupulous. We have all seen them. Do not let them take advantage of the family.
3. Donate the estate to a school club, school station or even the club for a club station. This turned out to be the easiest and the best way to take care of the equipment. When I am gone I would hope my stuff finds a good home. I would be proud of knowing my station went to a school club or STEM.
For the rest of us, make your wishes known to your family ahead of time. Please, do not leave your poor wife or husband to wonder what to do with all that stuff in the shack. I have known of equipment being stored for years because the survivors have no idea what to do with it. None of these options are easy and you just have to decide which route to take based on the situation. Heck you might even just want to stay out of the whole mess if you have a bunch of greedy children looking to make a buck off of dad or grandpas passing.
We found that number three was the best way to handle the estate. No one is taken advantage of, no one gets ripped off, no one complains about not getting to bid on a radio. This particular SK 's equipment went to a high school station in the new technology center being built. The widow made the right decision.
Hope that helps,