Estate of Silent Key


Mike W4BZM
 

One of the members of our local radio club has been asked to help dispose of the ham radio equipment of a recent Silent Key.  He is wondering if there are any Standard Practices or recommendations available, so he does not have to reinvent the wheel.  Right now he is researching Google and YouTube.  

 

Does anyone in the group have experience with a similar situation?  Have any suggestions I could pass on to him, based on experience?

 

73, 

Mike W4BZM


 

I saw a website once called Hamestate.com and they might be one place to check out.

John
KC3FL


Steve VA3FLF/KM4FLF
 

Mike,

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,

Steve
VA3FLF /KM4FLF


Jerry N9AVY
 

The problem is how to get the most cash for the widow as that was her money that was spent on ham equipment, too.

We had a couple of estate sales run by a local (KK9DX) who wasn't in it to make any profit for himself. Cornel was one truly honest ham that I've ever met. I bought a TS-570S for about $500 and the cash went to window. Also, bought some antennas and an O  scope

I knew both silent keys and paid decent $$$ for their equipment.

As for clubs I wouldn't be too hopeful about them.  Our local club had a lot of SK & donated equipment. The club loaned out some of the equipment, but later put it all up for auction ata meeting.  Everything went far too cheap... like a Drake TR-7 station for under $100. There were a bunch of bargain hunters there and they walked off with equipment too cheap.

My suggestion is to find someone who is honest enough to ask reasonable prices and to make as much $$$$ for the widow without letting friends walk away with "steals".   A few years back I visited an estate sale for a SK and was shocked to see one person walk away with the lion's share for $200.  Later wrote an article for Eham entitled "Beware the Vultures".  It was later picked up and republished by a few clubs. 

I would avoid those sites which offer to sell SK estates. I read one of them and they take a profit plus shipping and decided it was a money making scheme.

73,  Jerry  n9avy






On Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 12:11:04 PM CDT, Steve VA3FLF/KM4FLF via groups.io <oldjavadrinker@...> wrote:


Mike,

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,

Steve
VA3FLF /KM4FLF


Barry VA7GEM
 

Mike
This is quite an open ended question to provide a concise answer.
If the SK had a couple HTs it is easy. If he was a collector of fine old
rigs it becomes a different issue. If he is an average ham with one nice rig,
a couple HTs, a small tower, and misc bits maybe someone new in your
club would be interested in a package deal. Again if an average estate
then possibly a club member or close friend could volunteer to be a
disposal agent. If you have a local radio shop, they may be interested in
purchasing the estate and selling it off.
good luck 
Barry


 

Mike...
All of Steve's 1, 2 & 3 have good points & suggestions.

I've personally handled equipment selling for the XYL's of S/K's (damnit) on 2 different occasions.
One thing of note, and I did it the same both times.
Include a 2nd person on the inventorying & evaluation of the equipment.
I had anticipated no problems, had no problems, and in fact, a 2nd set of eyes was a good resource.

NOW, what did I learn? I learned that I need to keep and informal type inventory, on paper, not on a computer, of most all of my equipment. I've also included the gear I've loaned to hams. Both temp and for extended times.  That being radio's, amplifiers and higher value items. I do not put a dollar value on any of it. By agreement with a local ham friend, (my other friend, per Sandy, my XYL), he will handle the sale. 
I totally trust him. 

That's all.
Milt.
N6MG
070-650
LONP #76

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve VA3FLF/KM4FLF via groups.io <oldjavadrinker@...>
To: main@070Club.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Jun 30, 2021 10:11 am
Subject: Re: [070Club] Estate of Silent Key

Mike,

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,

Steve
VA3FLF /KM4FLF


Barry VA7GEM
 

On Wed, Jun 30, 2021 at 11:59 AM, N6MG - Milt. wrote:
By agreement with a local ham friend, (my other friend, per Sandy, my XYL), he will handle the sale. 
I totally trust him. 

That's all.
Milt.
N6MG
070-650
LONP #76
Milt
I Totally agree with this statement as my only friend (per XYL) and I have same
agreement. We are both in our 70's and both have heart issues. Now when we 
get together we tease each other about who will get stuck with the chore as first
one out escapes all obligations and second has to find a new buddy. We keep
debating the need for a plan "B" and laughing about the fact we have no young friends.
cheers
Barry