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Chacheska

Willing a Classic Car After Death

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I'm sure that's all true, K. I'm not a tax expert, so what I have up there is just what I was able to glean from a series of articles I found. I'm certain there are many more complications to settling an estate than I covered, and it would probably make my head hurt to think about them. But a will or some kind of arrangement for the disposal/transfer of assets can make the process a lot easier.

In the situation we're discussing, I don't know how values would be determined or what kind of effect they would have on the process. If the only concern is for the transfer of the cars to another collector, then perhaps the rest of the estate can be used to settle the tax debt if there is one. But remember, you have to be worth more than $2 million for this to be a factor.

I do know that some kind of appraisal by some kind of expert (I don't know what kind of credentials you need to be qualified) has to be done to settle an estate if there's no will. My uncle had a vast collection of baseball cards, many of them incredibly valuable. When he died, my father had to have the collection appraised and inventoried by some kind of baseball card appraiser/dealer/collector. Of course, that someone also ended up buying the entire collection for one price, so who knows what the numbers really meant.

A trust of some kind might be a better solution. I'm having dinner with my father and I'll make it a point of conversation to persue this.

You can bet rich guys have things set up to avoid the estate tax, and there must be many ways around it. I know someone who has a life insurance policy that is specifically designed to pay the estate taxes when he goes.

I don't think I'll ever need to do that myself, though... frown.gif

PS: I have real concerns, after meeting my neighbor's son, about what will happen to that collection. I'm sure the tax angles are all arranged, but the son doesn't seem like he cares much for the cars. Maybe I should cozy up to the owner...

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Hey, Matt, are you abandoning me for your neighbor already? Geez, I hope your neighbor's wife is ugly! You really did some research into this, didn't you? That was a a good treatise on the subject, my friend. I had to put more ink into the printer to make sure I had enough to print out that length dissertation. Good work! You made the point about a storage problem acquiring an 8 car collection. The fact of the matter is that I wasn't thinking about a single reciprosity will with one individual. I was thinking about 8 separate wills with 8 individuals. That way there's a possibility of actually acquiring a couple of cars during my lifetime as well as the lifetimes of the other members involved. Putting all of the 8 proverbial eggs in one basket, especially with a younger hobbyist, isn't the most viable use of the idea. As for values, if person A had a V16 and person B had a V12 and one lesser car then a deal may be struck wherein the two lesser valued cars could be agreed upon in exchange for the pricier one. That's one way to compensate for inequality in value. By the way, you're only 250 miles from me but then again your neighbor is right next door. My next door neighbor has a 1992 Geo Storm with a bad muffler. It's good to see so much input being submitted to the topic as well as so many people reading the post. Maybe this will serve to generate personal thought and family discussion about the fate of our beloved cars. Only got one reply on the CCCA website as of last night.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Only got one reply on the CCCA website as of last night. </div></div>

Chac!

Not many of us own a Classic, but all of "us" probably own or have owned a Yugo, Geo, or Chevette( blush.gif)! smile.gif

As far as this thread goes, most of us are getting up in age too, so this topic is very important to all of us.

Wayne

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I gave this more thought yesterday. It seems that the individual's with the cars to will, wants the car to be taken care of as he would. Maintained and driven to shows. Keeped inside and out of the weather. Repaired if necessary. If the person getting the car does not have room to keep it, then a garage will need to be built or a storage fee will need to be paid. This all costs money. There are property taxes on buildings and the more you build, the higher they are. Assuming the respondsability to care and preserve our past for the future comes at a price even if the item was given to us. Also there is no guarantee the the person that recives the item will live to a ripe old age. Read the papers and you see that even the young die everyday.

In my oppinion the best way to perserve the cars would be though a "living museum" This of course would have to fall under a "not for profit" organization.

This would not be a run of the mill kind of place that just lets things sit around and collect dust like many museums that have cars that look nice but are by no means road worthy and there are lots of them out there.

The person who wills the cars could designate who they want to be a "caretaker" of the car and that person would have the right to take the car to shows and parades and take car of it as the owner would have as long as that person is of sound mind and health to do so. Also the next generation of purests could be chosen to carry on where the last left off.

With this in mind, even if you left the item to a young person there is no guarantee that they will not fall into hardship in there lives. Divorce, alcoholizum, gambling addiction, bankruptcy, drugs, tragic accident or diease. We never know what life will bring.

If you have no one to leave you estate to, you could leave the estate to the "living museum" to help with the costs of maintaining the place and the automobiles.

Everthing costs money, even keeping your "Babys" after you are gone. There are no guarantees that you friends will be able to afford to keep and mantain them.

And then there is always the next generation.......

Dave!

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Yes, Dave, you're right about not knowing what the next person who owns the car will do. Same thing applies when you sell a car. The best anyone can do is hope the decision who to will them to is a wise one based on the your best judgement. Storage and other fees associated with attaining a nice car shouldn't be anything someone would complain about considering they're getting a car without having to pay for it. They would have to shelter and otherwise take care of any car they purchased anyway. At least this way there's no cost in obtaining the car. There have been some interesting suggestions posted. I will still pursue my original idea and see if I can find others willing to consider a reciprocating will. It's going to be harder to find 'willing' people than I thought. Pun intended!

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I've seen a lot of good cars/items left out under a "shade tree" because there was no where to store it. In a few years they just deteriorate and fall apart. Many owners think they have a gold mind when indeed they have very little.

But the bottom line is that this is not about dollar value. It is about preservation of our rich automotive past for future generations.

Somthing like a "living museum" would be a gathering place of like minded individuals to do just that. The next generation could be chosen to carry on by participation and by the incentive of how to care and maintain for the automobile at hand. Others would be there as "Custodians" to see that the car was not cut up and modified, but remaind as original as possible to be road worthy. This could become a world wide thing with preservationists spread in every corner of the earth.

Just some food for thought. smile.gif Dave!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Chacheska</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I will still pursue my original idea and see if I can find others willing to consider a reciprocating will. It's going to be harder to find 'willing' people than I thought.</div></div>

If we can work out details and get them all legal-like, I'd absolutely be in with you Karl. I love the idea. As long as Julia is taken care of, I'd rather the cars go to someone I know and trust rather than worrying about her trying to sell them herself and having the predators swarm around her. I wouldn't want to see my cars on eBay with the heading "1941 Buick! Perfect for hot rod or part out $$$$. Rat ROD!!!!!!"

Besides, who knows what the value of these cars will be in decades--perhaps with gas getting so scarce and expensive by then, they'll be useful as nothing but static art.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Besides, who knows what the value of these cars will be in decades--perhaps with gas getting so scarce and expensive by then, they'll be useful as nothing but static art. </div></div>

Museum dust collectors....... frown.gif

That's the day I give the hobby up. If I can't hear them purr, I ain't interested. wink.gif Dave!

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O.K., this topic has most likely run it's course. Matt, send me an e-mail directly and we can chat about it. I looked you up and found your address but no phone number. Anyone else who may be interested in a reciprosity will can contact me at the e-mail address below. Thanks to one and all for some great responses and good ideas!

chacheska@verizon.net

Ciao for now!

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Gentelmen and Ladies--I now have a renewed interest in this topic due to the passing of a good friend of 32 years this past week. My friend was single, an only child at the end of his branch of the family tree. He was somewhat solitary, but very social and held events at his home for many decades. At issue this week was trying to find next of kin to begin the process of a proper burial and to begin the determination of the disposition of his estate.

Please, Please if you are single, have no family nearby (even if you do) have a folder, envelope, sheet plainly marked and leave it near the kitchen phone, in plain sight--something for the authorities to help them find your family or a friend you entrust to handle your affairs after you are gone. My friend passed unexpectantly, he was a very healty appearing 70 years of age. I helped the authorities in the search process, this would have been made easier if my friend had prepaired a "contact in case of emergency" document detailing who his relitaves are, their numbers, or any local friends he entrusted to handle his affairs.

Do it now, don't wait.

Make a will NOW, don't wait, if you want to gift your assets to a museum or group get it in the will NOW, don't wait. Tell a close friend about your will, where your safe deposit boxes are, and register a copy of your will with the county of your residence (this is optional, and isn't often done) and provie the person on your contact sheet with a copy of your burial wishes and perhaps a sealed copy of your will.

We had to unravel this all in the case of my friend, and help the county medical examiner's office piece together his family tree and burial plans.

Do this now, we just never know.

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An excellent suggestion.

And make sure that everything is in writing. Case in point, a friend had a beautifully restored sixties MG. Everytime he talked about the car it was to go to his and his wife's only child, their daughter.

Then I get a call about two years after his passing that his wife wanted to sell the car. When I mentioned it had always been promised to their daughter her exact words were, "Well, he never put it in writing. I might need the money to take care of myself so I want to sell it now."

And she did. But not with my help.

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Put together a living trust, it is the same thing, but, not taxable.

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A lot of people have said clearly that you need to leave a written will that is legally binding in your state.

Having said that and knowing that there are still people who haven't done so, then reverse the situation and look at it like this:

If you don't care what happens to your stuff, who gets it, how it is used (or not used) then don't leave a will. If you don't want your family, your college, church or charity to get what you worked a lifetime for, don't bother spending a few hours with a trusted family attorney. I can promise you that there is some government bureaucrat or lawyer (charging $400 per hour) out there somewhere who will be glad to make the decisions for you.

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I'm glad I started a thought provoking topic. It's definitely one that everyone needs to think about at some point in their lives. Sometimes it takes the death of someone you know or a family member that makes you realize just how unprepared most people are when it happens. Watching what happens to everyone else's cars go to places or people they didn't intend them to go to is a real wake up call. I admit to not being prepared well enough in the event of my demise. Currently my mother would get all my 'stuff' which, at 86, I doubt she could handle. It's definitely time to make a will and write specific information and instructions on where they are, what they're worth and who gets them. I'm one of those solitary types that needs to get my schmidt together. This is one of those inevitable events that isn't going to go away. Thanks for keeping the post alive so more people are made to think about it.

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Will my car to someone? Not a chance. I'm taking it with me. My wife has said that if I go first, she is having me stuffed and put in the driver's seat. What happens after that is unclear. But it won't be my worry. grin.gif

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Bill,

Obviously, you have seen the movie "Used Cars" waaaay too many times.....or maybe your wife has.

But seriously, has she checked to see what your auto insurance rates will be after your demise if you keep driving? I wonder if you will still get an AARP discount?

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If you have nobody to leave it to, SELL IT yourself while you still have your facilities and some control over who to sell to. I have seen what happens with an estate full of stuff where nobody with any kind of sentimental attachment is around to make decisions, and it's not pretty. Enjoy it while you can, pass it on if you can. But if not, then just let it go. Sell it to another collector. Even sell it at a price below value if you know it's going to a good home and the young enthusiastic buyer truly appreciates the gesture. Don't wait until the last minute. Unless you know exactly which of your surviving relatives will get the car and take good care of it, SELL IT when you can no longer enjoy it yourself. Trust me, while your car is special to you, your other relatives would much rather have the cash.

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Sell It when you can. Twice this spring I have seen widows give cars to a scrap man. 1936 Chevy conv and a 35 Ford conv.

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Check out my post above--there are a lot of tax ramifications of selling it. Even if your heirs prefer cash, they'll get more out of your estate if you do something other than simply sell it. Screw the IRS. They can have my antique cars when they pry my cold, dead corpse out of the driver's seat.

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Matt,

ANOTHER reference to the movie Used Cars!

Hey, don't forget; the IRS will be trying to pull the keys out of my left hand while the ATF guys are trying to get my gun out of my right hand!

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