What will happen to your tools when you die?
A bit morbid perhaps but still a serious question.  As we get older many of us increasingly consider our own mortality, even though we may not talk about it much.  Many of us also have quite a lot of mooney tied up in tools and machinery while having family who have little or no knowledge of the true value of our kit or how they might realise it.  Selling it on ebay is one answer but that that depends on having the knowledge required to describe it accurately and will they want to spend the considerable amount of time needed to sell the contents of a well equipped workshop when they have busy lives of their own.. All too often I'm afraid such collections end up in the hands of dealers who exploit ignorance and pay a tiny fraction of the real value.  

So what to do?  I don't have any easy solutions, but one thing we can do is to review our inventory.  If my experience is anything to go by, as we get older the projects we take on get smaller as does the range of tools we use.  Couple this with the woodworker's natural tendency to acquire a lot of kit over time and analysis of your inventory will very likely reveal a lot of kit that rarely, if ever, gets used, and get rid of it now. I did this about a year ago and was be surprised at how it built up to quite a sizeable sum.  If you need the money that's great or you can give it to the kids.  I was in the lucky position of not needing the money so decided to donate it to the cancer charity for whom my son-in-law worked was a fund-raiser at the time which made both of us very happy.  

I still have the problem of the rest of my stuff but at least it's a bit smaller. I w ould be very glad to hear of any ingenious solutions other members of the forum may have come up with.

About a year ago, I cleaned out my FIL’s shop when he died - kept some and sold a bunch that I gave to MIL. My kids have no interest and I’ve been a bit of a collector so am also looking at what I have and going to thin the herd since I don’t want to stick my wife or kids with it.

We recently moved to Charlotte, NC, and there’s a state-wide WW forum where a few guys are known for helping widows liquidate shops. I’m getting ready to retire and going to join that group. Don’t know that we have this here, but this is national so a bit more difficult. It’s hard to give things up, but I’m often surprised how much I have that I don’t “need” - I have 5 bandsaws because they’ve fallen into my lap. Time to liquidate a couple - or maybe one.
The only woodworking relative I have is a nephew, and the plan is to giv the entire shop to him. To some extant this will be in the control of the executor, our daughter, but at least they won't sell the tools for what i said they cost.
Laugh But to be honest, when i go to an auction, it seems to me the tools bring more than I think they should.....so maybe letting them be auctioned off isn't so bad.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
46 years old here.

At this point, they'd likely be sold by my family, as my kids are too young to care to keep them. 

Doesn't matter to me.  I hope they get good money.
Semper fi,

(11-06-2022, 06:27 PM)®smpr_fi_mac® Wrote: At this point, they'd likely be sold by my family, as my kids are too young to care to keep them. 

Doesn't matter to me.  I hope they get good money.
I've already had one of my daughters put in dibs on both my Vette and my tools.  I doubt she will take everything toolwise but I'd be happy if one of the kids want to continue with them.  I got some of my Dad's when he passed and I'ld like to see the same happen with mine.
Probably sold. Don't know, won't care.
LOML and i both know that neither of us alone can take care of this acreage, and the unplanned departure of one of us will hasten the sale of the property.

What I really expect will happen is that LOML will hire an auctioneer to dispose of the shop tools, boat, and other items before the sale of the property.

We've talked about this and we both understand the types of actions that are likely to happen when one of us passes.

If I sound rather "matter of fact" about this possibility, well, LOML and I shared 25 years of my military career, and we had enough situations that happened to friends and unit mates that force us to face up to the fact that none of us is promised even one more day on this planet.  Aircraft accidents, car crashes, wartime losses, and other sudden deaths happen.  We have been honest with each other about what we want and what we think will be done.  It will be a sad time, perhaps even tragic.  But, there is a plan, and it will guide whichever one of us is left behind.
(formerly "WxMan")
Our son is handy with tools.  Job and family keep him too busy, at this point, for a hobby.  We have a nephew who does woodworking.  If I die within 5 yrs, the nephew will probably get the bulk of the shop.  Except for routers, clamps, and chisels, I have few duplications.  It is too early to thin the herd.

I'm 77, in decent health; I hope the ts, bs, dc, jointer, and lathe last as long as I am able to work.  If the power tools and I make it another 10 years, they will be like me, old and worn out.  By then, the hand tools may be worth more than I paid for them.

Very few of my tools were new and I have enjoyed the hobby so much, the future of the tools, after me, brings me little concern.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
Hoping that by the time it's my "time", one of my grandsons will have developed in interest and would be happy to inherit the whole shebang.  Barring that, it will likely be auctioned or otherwise sold off for pennies on the dollar.  That's OK.  I don't have anything that is of any substantial value, so I don't get too worried about my widow getting fleeced.  I would hope that they don't end up in a dumpster, someplace, but then, like Mac said "Don't know, won't care".
If you are going down a river at 2 mph and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to shingle your roof?

I have no kids and no younger friends into woodworking.  I mentor a young guy but I doubt I'll leave my tools to him; he can scrimp and scheme the same as I had to if he's really motivated.  Whoever buys my house after I'm gone will get a treasure trove of machines in my basement shop.  Good luck to them if they aren't into woodworking and want them removed.  I may leave my house to a worthy charity.  They can figure it out.  My plan is to use my shop as long as I can, and then not worry about it.  I'll probably have other things to worry about.  


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