help!

Hi All
my father died at the weekend having been in a bad way since a heart attack last July combined with the effects of 30 years of diabetes.
He had spent most of his 80 years acquiring and hoarding :o(
Some of it is good stuff and some of it is going straight to the tip - as something of a magpie myself I am pretty confident that there are no gems being thrown away!
My big problem is that as an executor to his will I need to find out values (and find buyers) on some of his toys such as his Myford - I think its a Super 7 with an unknown but sizeable number of bits and pieces to go with it, its old and grey and he has had it since i was a boy making it 40 years or more old. There are other items such as mig welder, compressor, bands saw (horizontal with feed for cutting bar etc not a vertical one), pillar drill, watchmakers lathe, obscure hand tools, couple of old Honda generators with G series engines, an old MOD battery charging set and more assorted electrical fittings and bits than you can shake a stick at. Basically its a double length garage, with shelves, of carefully stacked 'stuff'.
I was wondering if anyone could recommend any other web sites or newsgroups to look at, other than fleabay, to see what kind of prices these items are making. I'll try and take piccies of stuff and put them up on my work web space - once I figure out how its done! :o)
regards
Dudley
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On Wed, 18 Mar 2009 09:59:40 +0000, Dudley Simons

By the sound of it, the Myford and the watchmakers lathe are the items that will make significant money - the best place to look for prices on them is likely to be fleabay, and that is probably the place where you will get the best price too. I sold some Myford bits and pieces there a year or so ago and they went for what I thought was excellent money.
Regards, Tony
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My condolences on your loss. I think I'm heading soon for a similar situation myself 8-(

Big advice here: PHOTOGRAPHS. And good photographs for that matter.
You can't possibly know what everything is. Few people could know what _everything_ is, even if they're knowledgeable in one area of it. The smallest, grungiest piece might also be a hidden gem.
So if you need to "ask" a wide range of people, and you can't write a description that really conveys what's important without knowing it already, then the photograph is your friend. If you need to, go out and buy a digital camera just for this (Fuji Finepix J10, IMHO) and sign up to an online photo host that isn't Webshots. A tripod makes the task far quicker and easier. A good light or two on a stand doesn't hurt either. Then get snapping. Also be prepared to re- photograph things on request, maybe turning them upside down, focussing in on that crucial nameplate etc. _Good_ photographs, and good photographs begin with good lighting.

That's a typical description. It might be a factory Super 7, it might be an ML7 that has acquired some Super 7 parts over the years. It's also an even chance that the toolset with it is worth as much as the basic lathe. For a watchmaker's or woodturning lathe, that would be almost guaranteed. So your only practical option is to photograph them, laid out flat.

Value between 10 and 1,000+, depending on maker ("Lorch" would a good start), type and toolset. Watchmaker's lathes are particularly variable.

1 for a Rolson plane, 2,000 for a big Norris or obscure rarities like a Stanley #101 1/2. Even for "insignificant" hand tools, you have to be careful and go through item by item. Especially so as hand tool values are more tolerant of poor condition.

Well you asked in the right place for that! Bloke over there, the chap with horns on his helmet.

rec.woodworking is another (in context)

eBay isn't bad. You might not get best price, but you're rarely "ripped off" as a half-decent listing in the right category and a clear photo means that at least a couple of people will see it and appreciate the "real" value. Bad photo on eBay though means only one 99p bidder (usually me) and a poor deal. How else do you think I got to buy all _my_ high-ticket tools?
On the whole, trust people and trust valuations. You'll _gain_ more from asking more people than you will from being cautious and not asking enough. This isn't antiques dealing - most people who might be interested in such things are looking to buy for themselves rather than to sell on. We all like a bargain, but IMHE you get a fairer price (or valuation) from someone who's possibly interested in the tools themselves - even to say "That's a rare one, it's out of my bracket but don't take less than ***" than you will from a shop-front dealer who's just buying to re-sell. This is _ESPECIALLY_ true of people buying Bridgeport mills, Colchester lathes and similar "big iron" to re-sell from full-page ads in the Model Engineer. A tenfold markup seems to be their working margin 8-(
Incidentally, the Myford 7 is a tiddly little lathe that's not fit to make anything usefully large. However it's also hugely over-valued. So flog it, buy yourself a big old Colchester and have 3-phase installed with the change 8-)
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Hi Andy and Tony
thanks for the mail
Perhaps I shouldn't own up to it but as it happens I am a photographer, although not usually of the kind of stuff in dads workshop!
You are absolutley right about decent clear photos.
The Myford was just right for dad. When he was still working he had access to bigger machine tools and he used to have a regular little job cleaning up commutators on electric motor armatures for a local tool repair shop at a quid or so a time. I reckon that over the years they must have paid for the Myford. He would have liked a bigger lathe but even he had to recognise the limitations of the size of his workshop. That said he would always try to shoe horn another shoe box sized item in at every opportunity!
Once I have skimmed through and disposed of the bulky stuff - like dozens of 10 or 20 yard pieces of armoured cable that he picked up as offcuts as 'they would be handy for putting a power supply out to a shed sometime' - you know how it goes!, then I will have some space to move things around and start photographing the interesting bits.
Fortunately we are not under any pressure to get this done but if i don't keep up the momentum it will all grind to a halt and then it will never get done.
Thanks for your condolences Andy. The only advice I can give you is to make sure you know where all of the paperwork is for the insurance policies, life assurance, bank accounts - including joint, utility bills etc and most important of all make sure there is a will and that you have seen it and that it is a valid will. As an executor of dads will its been a nightmare to sort out. Oh and get the name of a good solicitor who deals with kind of stuff - sooner or later in the process you will have to bite the bullet and hand over cash for advice and legal services. If there isn't a will get one made - do whatever it takes persuasion, blackmail or bullying to get that will made - no will disaster, especially if there is a property involved. If you are or are going to be a beneficiary you will need advice on capital gains tax, inheritance tax and reducing your liabilities in advance.
I'll try and get some photos of the Myford sorted in the next week so that I can get it identified.
I''also dig out the MOD genny, photograph it and mail young Mr Siddorn.
regards
Dudley
Andy Dingley wrote:

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Condolences.
If you were to indicate in which part of the country you are, we could perhaps direct you to your local engineering society who should have sufficient experts to help you with your valuations, including the identification of things that are valuable that you might dismiss as scrap
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Alun wrote:

May I add my condolences - this is a post I dread having to make one day as there is no mistaking where I inherited my mechanical magpie tendancies from! Hopefully not any time soon though.
Anyway, from the email address, I supect Dudley is in the Cambridge area and a little more detective work suggests that decent photos should not be a problem Andy!
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Nick H wrote:

I'm in the middle of the executor process for my father who died in January. However he had littlee mechanical ability and therefore keft nothing useful for the workshop apart from a few jars of nuts and bolts.
What I have learnt is that probate valuers judge things harshly. I'm not arguing with them and some items such as victorian furniture can be worth little because of fashion but even the stuff with a well defined market is treated in the same way. For example a gold ring, probate value 800, insurance value 2K. Paintings with sale room ticket of 6K are valued at 1500. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It reduces tax liability but can make judging real value hard, especially if you need to divide the spoils and be fair to a sibling (not a problem in my case.)
So I'd suggest that you email a couple of the traders who advertise in Model Engineer with some photos of the lathes. My guess is that it'll be 20% of their sale price. As for the smaller stuff just take a low value guess. That's what the probate valuer paid to do my fathers house did. In fact he didn't even go in the garage or garden.
Charles
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Not "harshly", but "distressingly". Probate values are based on the amount that could be obtained if the item were to be sold immediately on the date of death - known as a "distress sale" - that's why the valuation is often significantly lower than the free market price. It's a bit like having to sell your home if it's repossessed by a lender with a charge over your property - they usually sell it at auction, for a quick sale, and it will nearly always be less than you could obtain for the property if sold by private treaty.
--
MatSav



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On 18 Mar, 22:36, "MatSav" <matthew | dot | savage | at | dsl | dot | pipex | dot | com> wrote:

Or even "cheerfully low".
I have _no_ problem with Mr Brown's tax vampires getting short shrift. He'd only spend it on fast cars, loose women and blow the rest on fat bankers.
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I would second that : I attended a sale in Milton Keynes organised by the local model engineering club for similar reasons. They had carefully sorted everything into sensible groups, catalogued it, attached prices and managed the flow of visitors into the tiny workshop. The prices were high enough to be fair, and low enough to ensure prompt sales. A very well managed event that, as far as I could tell, went down to the satisfaction of both the widow and the new owners of her husband's toys.
-adrian
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Come on guys, go overthere and give this man a hand! There must be model engineers in the area who can help.
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There's two separate issues: valuation for probate, and disposal. Other posters have already given plenty of advice on disposal. For probate, try a local auction house (solicitor should have names). They may come up with a surprisingly low figure that the authorities will accept without a quibble, not expensive. They may be able to find a suitable sale for the more "miscellaneous" stuff too.
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thanks for the replies chaps
One thing that i don't quite understand with this probate m'larky is how does the probate office know what the estate consists of anyway - unless you tell them?
Dad left very little in the way of hard cash - or at least we haven't found where he had salted it away :o)
Seriously though his cash will cover the funeral, the bunfight afterwards and any outstanding house hold bills.
Do they send someone oout to check up on these things? If they think i am pricing his estate by individual items they are going to be sorely dissappointed.
If anyone does want to come and check the contents they are welcome to but they will have to take into consideration that a lot of the stuff in there was bought between myself and my father.
I get the imporession that the system is geared up for rather more gentrified families with a small collection of fine watercolours, some rather nice antiques and a couple of vintage or classic cars in the garage - not an 80 year old magpie with a small pension, a few model engineers toys, a rusty BSA B31 and an old pushbike!
regards
Dudley
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Dudley Simons wrote:

This is where a will can do more harm than good. My neighbour lost both parents within a week just before Christmas. As the only child everything would have gone to him and he could have distributed items to his children as per his parents wishes which he was already knew. Unfortunately they listed everything in the will including over 40 items of jewellery, two grandfather clocks and assorted memorabilia. As a result every item had to be valued which in many cases cost more than the valuation.
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Cliff Ray wrote:

Bear in mind that before probate you have get the valuation approved by the taxman. He'll have a view of whether the income history of the deceased suggests that the estate is being undervalued.
Charles
.
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wells snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

And of course really rich people avoid all this stuff. Who was it who said that taxes are for "little people"? She did get hammered for it and as I recall ended up in chokey
Charles
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On Thu, 19 Mar 2009 07:41:37 -0700 (PDT), wells snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

Leona Helmsley I believe, but I could be wrong.
She has a point though, particularly if you're a business owner(limited company), as you can take the minimum tax free amount as a salary, and then pay yourself the rest in dividends. You don't pay any income tax, amd avoid employers NI contributions, but the company has to pay corporation tax on the dividends. However, as this is only between 19%-21% it is not only less than half the higher tax rate, but lower then the standard rate as well.
Peter
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On Thu, 19 Mar 2009 16:08:25 +0000, Peter Neill

Its actually not quite as good as that looks - the individual then pays an additional tax on the dividends of 10% if their taxable income falls below the basic rate limit of 34,800 and 32.5% if their income is higher than that. So the effective tax rate is more like 30% or 50% depending on your taxable income level.
Regards, Tony
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Not so easy since the advent of IR35 and the abolition of Advanced Corporation Tax; this latter causing you to pay an extra 10% as income tax which you didn't use to.
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One of GB's many stealth taxes. In fact, an exceptionally cunning one: a massive revenue raiser (the abolition of what was a carefully designed system to reduce the double taxation of one lot of profits/dividends) was made by the usual politician's misinformation (= lies) appear to be the abolition of a "tax" (advance corporation tax) which wasn't really a tax at all.
David
--
David Littlewood

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