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ldelsarte

My Atari collection, without me

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22 hours ago, ldelsarte said:

I also don't believe this tread is morbid (it was definitely not my intend). Just responsible people thinking about how to organise things instead of putting the weight on somebody's else shoulders... and saving loved Atari "stuff" from the trash.

I truly get what you said, and I just think it's hard not to look at it's being morbid purely because it's about death and loss, I know you meant it to be about future proofing your collection and I love that ideal, hence I said I love the thread in that post.

 

It's genuinely a thread that needed to be made and explored, I tried to sort of do it recently, but I fumbled that attempt, you nailed it..

 

The last thing any of us want is to see our lovely machines go to the dumpster, people tend to forget that as we approach our 70's that there's a lot that can go wrong with us, safety our gear before that can happen, and we all hope it won't until nature calls..

 

I'll be laying out a plan for my daughter to sell what I have when the time comes and roughly what to ask for in price, it's all normal gear with maybe the XL going for a bit more because of the Sophia 2 and the U1MB installed but it will be at acceptable prices, she won't have to keep relisting stuff..

 

As said, cracking thread...

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I've been thinking about all of this for a few years now, since I have no children of my own and none of my siblings or their children (all adults and creeping toward middle age now) are interested in my old vintage electronic "junk." Even the ones that are tech-savvy and have their own computer oriented hobbies. So that it doesn't end up in a landfill, I am planning on leaving some notes and instructions behind, easily found with the collection in a binder that lists everything and current values and descriptions to give my family an inkling of it all in order to sell it off for a small inheritance, besides my home, vehicles and business equipment. I'm not rich and don't have a lot of material possessions, but if they sold off all I own, there would be a small nest egg for them worth between 50-100 grand, plus another 100K in life insurance. I will definitely make sure they are aware it all has value and doesn't end up in the dump. 

 

My mother is in her 80's and not long for this world herself, and she had a craft hobby that turned into a store for many years and we have a shed full of "junk" of hers that most of will be burned or thrown out. But in her case it really is mostly junk, like material scraps and a million odds and ends to do with crafting, and maybe worth a grand or two if anyone went through the trouble of sorting, cataloging and putting it all up for sale. But the value is too low for the time and hassle to do all of that. So I will make sure all of that is done by me, in my case, so they can more easily sell it instead of dumping or burning it all. Plus my stuff is worth 50-100 times what my mother's is, besides the property she owns that I will inherit, and already have my home on.

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Referencing the Title of this, A collection without its owner/originator, is just stuff to others.  Keep a good inventory with estimated valuations.  Lots of work, but it will aid those who rummage through your treasures once you are in the clouds. This is morbid, but important to thing about.

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Instead of Atari I did Apple II. Essentially the same thing in this context. What to do with it all.

 

But more and more, as time goes on, I'm only interested in the material I had as a kid. And that amounts to what would fit in 4 or 5 RubberMaid tubs tops. That'll never change.

 

The room filling crap (4 walk-in closets of worth cards, drives, mainboards, keyboards, consoles, monitors, cables, printers, and everything else) of  I accumulated from ebay & estate sales and random hauls between the late 1990's and today can all be thrown out for all I care - because it has no nostalgic value. Zero emotional attachment. None of it is me. None of it was from the era of good times. The novelty of being able to "finally get what I couldn't afford as a kid" has worn thin. Instead it seems like a burden. Weighed down by possessions. That sort of thing. Some spare parts and manuals excepted.

 

I certainly know of no one in my part of town that's interested in this old-man stuff. And definitely no one in the family is interested.

 

Could any of that change in time? Anything is possible.

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A few years ago, I wrote a document to describe my future funeral. Which music, et cetera. I sent a PDF to several family members. Ever since, I have been thinking about some sort of will about my belongings, but it's hard to decide. I don't have anything of great value. Four guitars (fifth one coming in mid-October :)), one BASS guitar, one keytar, one ukulele, three keyboards, one melodica, two meter of records, ten meter of CD's, a couple of thousand books (a few first prints, Reve, Tolkien, but pocket versions), and the Atari stuff :) Nobody I know is musical in the sense that they play an instrument. They are not worth much, but perhaps they keep the one I built myself. Sell the rest. Records and CD's are worthless, except maybe for a few Prince 7" and 12". And the Atari stuff is all standard equipment, sometimes with modern expansions. Not worth much, except for the 1200XL perhaps. Give everything Atari related to @SenorRossie, @F#READY and @Fred_M and let them fight over it ;)

 

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I am happy to see that people are discussing this topic. It is important. 

 

I do not have much of a vintage game or computer collection (several 2600 consoles, ~150 cartridges, some more modern systems and games), but I am an avid bibliophile. I have accumulated several thousand volumes relating to Canadian history, and my plan is for that all to be donated to an academic library when I pass -- I have not yet chosen the specific facility, but I do have a short-list. 

 

I have not checked, but I assume that most major museums would have a 2600 console -- and probably not care enough to acquire the variants. 

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I don't have a living will - I really should.  Average age in my family is a scant 64 years old, so I have about 18 to go.  There's a lot of stuff I have that would seem to be junk, but could bring the family some significant money if I were to pass.  I am married, but we have no kids.  I would hate to have things go to probate, and I would certainly hate to burden my survivors with having to sort all this "shit" out.  The only family I have (besides my mom and my wife) is a brother and his 2 kids, none of whom give two craps about any of the old stuff I collect (cars, computers, audio equipment).  What does one do in a situation like this?  Try to list everything and let an auction house handle it and then distribute the funds?

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7 hours ago, Stephen said:

I don't have a living will - I really should.  Average age in my family is a scant 64 years old, so I have about 18 to go.  There's a lot of stuff I have that would seem to be junk, but could bring the family some significant money if I were to pass.  I am married, but we have no kids.  I would hate to have things go to probate, and I would certainly hate to burden my survivors with having to sort all this "shit" out.  The only family I have (besides my mom and my wife) is a brother and his 2 kids, none of whom give two craps about any of the old stuff I collect (cars, computers, audio equipment).  What does one do in a situation like this?  Try to list everything and let an auction house handle it and then distribute the funds?

This question is one that I've wrestled with simply because I'm in a remarkably similar situation to your own.  Really wish I had an answer for you, because then I'd probably have one for both myself and a lot of other people in the same boat.

 

The auction house idea is possibly the best.  Here's what I can say about that based on my experience with a few after both my father and grandmother's deaths:

  • Have everything inventoried and appraised in advance, both as individual items and as collections.  The auction houses don't want to have to try to figure out what each item is worth, and your successors will be in no real position to do it.  There is a cost attached to doing so, but in the long run it's worth it since it'll make things much easier on your next-of-kin.
  • There's a strong chance that they'll want to inspect items and/or collections before agreeing to take the various lots on.  This is fine, but make sure that you receive a written report which includes how and why they valued each item.  If necessary, negotiate with them on valuation based on your appraisal.
  • Line up the auction house(s) you want to use before your death.  Make sure that they understand the types of things they're being asked to sell, and that you have a contract stating that they will handle the estate auction for those specific items.  Also record their terms for handling the sale at the time the contract is signed.
  • If they push heavily on using their in-house evaluation services (or refuse to sell items unless you do), either negotiate the use of external services or walk away.  The main issues with the in-house ones are that a) their knowledge may not be sufficient to adequately sell the item(s) in question, b) it can just be a straight-up money grab for them by locking you into using their folks, or c) they will overprice items, leading to them not selling and thus burdening your family.  Obviously there are exceptions to this such as auction houses that specialise in a particular area, but as a rule of thumb these hold.

There are other things, but as I'm going stream-of-consciousness on this I'm definitely forgetting them.  As starter points, though, they should be decent.

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23 hours ago, Stephen said:

I don't have a living will - I really should.  Average age in my family is a scant 64 years old, so I have about 18 to go.  There's a lot of stuff I have that would seem to be junk, but could bring the family some significant money if I were to pass.  I am married, but we have no kids.  I would hate to have things go to probate, and I would certainly hate to burden my survivors with having to sort all this "shit" out.  The only family I have (besides my mom and my wife) is a brother and his 2 kids, none of whom give two craps about any of the old stuff I collect (cars, computers, audio equipment).  What does one do in a situation like this?  Try to list everything and let an auction house handle it and then distribute the funds?

Without a trust, your estate will go to probate. (IANAL, this is not legal advice)
https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-top-three-ways-to-avoid-probate

 

A long while ago, my wife and I did get a lawyer to set up a living trust and will. The point was to avoid the cost of probate court, by putting all our assets in trust upon our death, and to make sure our children were taken care of. As the article above notes, your estate will go to probate court, with the exception of life insurance, retirement accounts, bank accounts with named beneficiaries. (Keep these updated. There are horror stories of people who got divorced, remarried, but the beneficiaries were in the old spouses name….so they had to give the assets to the original spouse). If your estate is going to be worth a significant amount, check your state laws regarding simplified/formal probate dollar limits (anywhere between a maximum of $20,000 - $150,000), to see if you would qualify for less expensive probate court procedure.

https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/whensomeonedies/probate.shtml


If you don’t want to get a lawyer, there are some online websites that can help you fill out the necessary documents  for probably half to a quarter the price.

 

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Thanks for the advice, and also for the reminder.  I have to update my beneficiary info.

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I think I will give my stuff to people with the right to first refusal... ranked order... if person 1 doesn't want it then it goes to person 2 etc.. that way if family doesn't want it, it would continue on to person 3 who might be AtariAge member etc... they pay shipping it they can't afford the shipping or don't want it then it will fall into the auction method

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On 9/28/2021 at 12:30 AM, Keatah said:

Instead of Atari I did Apple II. Essentially the same thing in this context. What to do with it all.

 

But more and more, as time goes on, I'm only interested in the material I had as a kid. And that amounts to what would fit in 4 or 5 RubberMaid tubs tops. That'll never change.

 

The room filling crap (4 walk-in closets of worth cards, drives, mainboards, keyboards, consoles, monitors, cables, printers, and everything else) of  I accumulated from ebay & estate sales and random hauls between the late 1990's and today can all be thrown out for all I care - because it has no nostalgic value. Zero emotional attachment. None of it is me. None of it was from the era of good times. The novelty of being able to "finally get what I couldn't afford as a kid" has worn thin. Instead it seems like a burden. Weighed down by possessions. That sort of thing. Some spare parts and manuals excepted.

 

I certainly know of no one in my part of town that's interested in this old-man stuff. And definitely no one in the family is interested.

 

Could any of that change in time? Anything is possible.

A few years ago I de-cluttered and sold my main video game collection - huge amount of software and hardware, lots of very rare stuff (Have been a video game developer since the late 80's) - sold it all in one go to a guy starting up a retro gaming shop. he got a lot of stuff 🙂

 

Then two years ago I began to sell all my Atari 8bit stuff, and now it is all gone, I had a lot, and it was not making me happy, just filling shelves.

 

I cannot describe how much relief it was to unload all the stuff, how much I had not realised I was just accumulating stuff because I could not because it made my life better, it was hoarding and it weighed me down, and I am happier for it's departure!

 

sTeVE

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