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#2877400 - 09/06/17 08:20 AM When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . .
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 3190
Loc: Inside the Beltway
Sorry guys, I know this is one we don't really like to talk, or think about, but . . .

An old (in every sense of the word) Musician friend recently had a stroke. He's recovering, thankfully, but he's lost strength and movement in his left arm and leg. He can't play Music for now, but he has a great attitude, lots of friends around to help, and he wants to play again, so we're hopeful.

I've been helping his wife to break down and pack up his Music space. He kept a small jam space near where I live, for friends to get together, band rehearsals, small-scale stuff, but fun; it's been a local gathering place for over 20 years. As we go through his gear (Keyboards, cables, PA, handful of Guitars, bunch of Percussion, Amps of different sizes, an Upright Piano and a real Pump Organ, and God-knows-what else), and all the knick-knacks that have accumulated in there over the years, I can't help thinking, "I don't want to leave my wife to deal with anything like this."

One buddy has a line in his will, "All my Music gear goes to (old bandmate)!" Others have children, or other family, who'll be glad to pick up the Music they leave behind. I don't have any children, and as for the rest of the family, one of our nieces might like my old Alvarez 6-string, but that's about it.

I'm torn between divesting, and the thought that realistically, I probably have at least a few more good years to play Music. I'm wondering how anyone else in here is dealing with this issue, if at all? I have to admit, while I've given it some thought over the years, it seems slightly more pressing as time passes, and as I see that a lot of our peers aren't making it to 70.

I know a lot of folks in here have had to deal with loss, serious health issues, the deep sh!t, if you'll forgive the crude expression, so if there's any group where I feel like we can seriously talk about this, it's here. Thanks for reading this.


Edited by Winston Psmith (09/06/17 08:21 AM)
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#2877404 - 09/06/17 08:41 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Winston Psmith]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I only have my two guitars, so there's no real problem there. I actually did talk with one daughter about this, and she said she'd hold on to one as a "keepsake" and give the other to her sister for the same reason.

But now that it's on your mind, putting it all down in a will would be advisable. Me and my sister went through probate when my brother died, and you definitely don't want to put your wife and family through that.

I'm guessing your wife should know who in your family would benefit the most from recieving whichever gear you have after you're gone, but it wouldn't hurt for you two to discuss it now. and write it down. Years ago, long before she was even sick, my wife wrote down instructions as to the distribution of her jewelry upon her demise, and instructed me to just gather her sisters to go through her clothing and pick out what they'd like before I bag it all for the Purple Heart.
Whitefang
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#2877406 - 09/06/17 08:59 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Winston Psmith]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 4995
Loc: Los Angeles
My health is good, my family are famously long-lived (both parents still alive in their 90s), but the loss of both my wife as well as one of my closest friends & work associates has placed the specter of mortality on daily display before me. With no direct heirs I ponder the question often of what to do with my belongings. The only remotely acceptable idea that comes to mind is just continual, but slow, deacquisition. Hopefully timed so well that I die with one guitar, a kitchen table, a bed & a toothbrush. Having experienced death up close I'm not sentimental about it, nor particularly intimidated by it, but I want to make it as easy as possible for others around me.
After my wife's passing a friend who lent considerable assistance in the various arrangements showed me a notebook she has created, titled "In The Event Of My Death". In it are listed all of her bank accounts, investments, insurance policies, deeds, titles, passwords, etc. Everything an outside observer would need to neatly conclude all of her financial matters. Much of this sort of information I had to track down laboriously over the course of several years in the case of my wife, because the information simply wasn't gathered anywhere centrally. The notebook idea strikes me as a good way to get started on making the process easier for those around us.
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#2877413 - 09/06/17 09:10 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
I too have an old buddy (maybe a few years older than me) that just suffered a stroke and is out of the ICU but may not be able to go back home (still waiting on an update). Many of our forum obits are dealing with musicians my age (i.e. 67) passing away. I do have a living trust which contains a will. But, I have left my instruments and gear vague as I may sell some of it at anytime. For the most part my son and daughter and their spouses will inherit whatever is in the bedroom studio. Son gets the guns, daughter gets the musical stuff. And they can share it or donate it if they don't want to keep any of it. The wife gets 1st choice but is not really interested in either (other than a keepsake maybe). I'm a procrastinator. I am dealing with my parents probate as the administrator as they left no will or trust. Things would be a lot less trouble if they had a living trust and we would have been able to avoid probate and the money that they will take from the estate. A living trust is well worth the time and money, if you do not have one, you may wish to get one ASAP (even if you're much younger than me LOL!). cool
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#2877414 - 09/06/17 09:16 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Scott Fraser]
Winston Psmith Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 3190
Loc: Inside the Beltway
Thank you, Scott and Whitefang: Exactly the sort of thoughtful responses I was hoping for.

Sadly, little or none of my Music gear would hold even sentimental interest for my wife's family. Like I say, there's one niece who might enjoy the old Alvarez, and one brother-in-law who might make use of the 88-key Synth; that's about all.

One reason I keep the computer inventory is so my wife could simply email it to my FLUMS, and get an offer for the whole pile. Shortest path between two points, so to speak.

The divestment plan seems best to me, as well, partially through Buddhist influence: I have no desire to be owned by my things, nor to leave them as a burden for anyone else. Having a Will, and a Final Instructions book are both excellent ideas. Again, thank you brothers. Let's hope none of us have to face this for some time to come, yet.
_________________________
"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://4-4-2music.bandcamp.com/album/regrets-only

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#2877449 - 09/06/17 10:55 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Winston Psmith]
DocPate Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 647
Loc: Virginia
This is a subject that is near and dear to me. I've passed down most of my gear to my children and grandchildren who have shown interest in playing. I've kept an acoustic, an electric with amp and keyboard. The acoustic Grammer has sentimental value that no one else would appreciate. And my Tele with the Tweed amp just sounds good and occasionally I pick it up and noodle around.

I'll leave them to one of the kids when I pass. Right now the Will go to my wife if I go soon.

Everyone with a collection should have a will.

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#2877478 - 09/06/17 12:49 PM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: DocPate]
Winston Psmith Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 3190
Loc: Inside the Beltway
Thanks, DocPate. I'm glad you were able to pass on some of your gear, and the Music inside it. Like Neil Young, I believe that old gear, well-loved and well-played, retains something of all the songs that have passed through it.

Larryz, sorry, somehow your post must have slipped in while I was replying to Scott & Whitefang. I wish the best for your buddy. FWIW, I'll be 63 in January, so I'm not too far behind you.

My wife and I have been talking about a Will, mostly because we own a house, and have no children. We're not big on stuff, in terms of valuables, antiques, what-have-you; she has her Chef gear, and I have my Music gear. Most precious things in our house are our dogs, period. In an emergency, we'd grab our dogs and leave everything else. To be honest, I worry far more about who would take our dogs, if anything happened to both of us, than what would become of the house, or anything in it.

Thanks to all of you, once more, for your thoughtful and honest replies.
_________________________
"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://4-4-2music.bandcamp.com/album/regrets-only

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#2877499 - 09/06/17 02:19 PM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Winston Psmith]
desertbluesman Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 4375
Loc: Near Phoenix Az
I expect to have my instruments out live me & by a long ways (Me at 75 years old), my oldest kid is a musician who plays bass as his main ax and guitar secondly. He gets all the instruments for keepsakes and I ask him to pass them down to my other kiddo's kids after he passes. The oldest one has no natural children of his own but does raise 4 step kiddies. So I want my guitars to go to blood relatives if at all possible. Not because they have any real monetary value, but I would guess sentimental value would out weigh that anyways. My health is relatively good, I exercise every day at the gym. "Motion is lotion" is my and my gym friends mantra. The difference between he and I and the other oldies is; we exercise, and we can move well they do not exercise and a lot of them seem crippled up because of their lack of exercising.
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#2877511 - 09/06/17 03:56 PM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: desertbluesman]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5229
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I have no kids and no expectations of any. No significant other, likewise. None of my cousins, etc. are musician's. God willing, I'll outlive my parents, and if I do, I'll probably inherit Mom's baby grand. So it will all be on me.

At just shy of 50, I have yet to draft a will, but intend to at some point. My plan is basically this:

My executor will probably be empowered to give such gear as I have to any of my beneficiaries he or she thinks would want it. But regardless, there will be a clause that will either disperse the collection (piecemeal or entire) to schools I know of that have or want to have some kind of music program, or will form a trust that loans out my gear as needed to qualified underprivileged applicants involved in musical education.

I'm still mulling over the various permutations.


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (09/06/17 03:58 PM)
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#2877584 - 09/06/17 11:08 PM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
Thanks Brother Winston, yeah my buddy made it and will probably get to go home soon. He did lose the use of his left arm and hand and so he won't be playing bass and guitar anymore. It's hell getting old. Hopefully we'll have another 30 years or so to go and you'll outlive those dogs. They definitely become part of the family.

Like Danny A, I'm also considering giving to schools, churches, etc. There is a guitars for Vets program that is also a worthy cause... cool
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Take care, Larryz

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#2877586 - 09/06/17 11:22 PM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Larryz]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5229
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I'm a supporter of G4V, too. Excellent charity.

But they've got their own thing going. I'm looking more at those who don't.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2877600 - 09/07/17 03:56 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Glad to hear your friend's going home. After my wife's stroke, she spent a couple or so months in rehab/skilled nursing places until she got back home.

And I'm sorry to learn of his losing the left side. As did my wife. I only suffered a slightly diminished use, but can imagine what he's feeling. Now, I realize he doesn't know me from Adam, but please tell him 'Fang sends him his best. smile
Whitefang
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I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2877605 - 09/07/17 05:19 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Winston Psmith]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 8009
Loc: Japan
I lost a very good friend unexpectedly in July-his family is in Germany so friends and colleagues had to help deal with his apartment, which was full to the ceiling with a mix of rare valuables, and literally garbage.
I think it was an unwelcome but necessary wakeup call for many of us.
A few of you may already know, I have been walking a fine line between health maniac and party animal since college. My 60th B-day was two days ago. Tuesday is not a good day for partying but, one of my 30 something friends also has one this week so we`ll do a double trouble party on Saturday. The only reason I won`t be out dancing and terrorizing the neighborhood till sunrise, is purely financial. I actively train in two very different martial arts styles-why only two? note `purely financial` above. I can still kick over my head, and I`ll do at least a little track and field with junior high school students at the sports festival on Saturday. I have studied several dietary regimens in depth, and I have several good friends in India-one of them has a book on meditation on Amazon. I pitched in a little editing help with the manuscript.
...and none of that buys immortality.
I have no children-at least none that I`m aware of-and unless my fortunes change drastically I don`t expect any. My brother is at least as active musically as I am even though he doesn`t sing or write originals. But he`s a Wall Street type-this is not a quote but his attitude is, `if I haven`t heard of it, it`s probably a knockoff`. I was happy to see that, last time I was over to his place he had acquired a fine tobacco sunburst Carvin. For him, that`s progress. Leaving any of my guitars to him, I may as well just donate them to ebay. Frankly they are too nice for charity, but not vintage and not `major label`. One of my cousins also plays but he is almost my same age, and besides he plays lefty. I have several guitars, and some other one of a kind possessions, in the U.S. at my mother`s place. The economy in Japan has been getting worse and worse. I`m making less money now than the first day I came here-after almost 20 years of work experience. If something happens to either my mom or me, right now my possessions are vulture food. I should make a will, I`ve had it in mind for a while now. But let`s be honest-writing a will saying `this will happen and then this will happen`-without someone still on earth to actually make it happen-ain`t gonna happen. I`m still not sure how to solve that problem. But it definitely needs to be solved. It`s stressing me out. More than a little.
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#2877611 - 09/07/17 05:29 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: whitefang]
Bluesape Moderator Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 11706
Loc: Ottawa
I have the same dilemma. No kids, recent passing of a spouse, etc. Mortality is much more in your face as middle age wanes. No real kin that are musical, save for a cousin younger and far more well off. I want to pass my gear to people who will use it and not sell it off. Lotsa dibs on the choicest pieces, but I gotta make sure each piece goes to whom I feel would cherish it most. I am also among the healthiest of my closest friends, and expect to outlive most of them, so the list of heirs is far from static.


Edited by Bluesape (09/07/17 05:31 AM)
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#2877634 - 09/07/17 07:36 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Bluesape]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
Thanks Fang, I will give him a high note from you and the forum family. I have a feeling they will keep him in a rest home for at least 30 days before they release and send him home... cool
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Take care, Larryz

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#2877679 - 09/07/17 11:27 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Larryz]
Delta Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 239
Loc: Ormond Beach, FL
You know you're getting old when you start thinking along those lines LOL!
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#2877745 - 09/07/17 04:55 PM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Delta]
BiC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 3585
I have an addendum to my Will, that I update annually, which lists the fair market value of all of my gear. At least my family will not be in the dark as far as that goes. For example, I'd sure hate to see my $600+ mint condition vintage WH-1 Whammy in a yard/estate sale for $25.00. razz
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#2877788 - 09/07/17 10:07 PM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: BiC]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
Just enjoy the look on the kids face that finds that Whammy, that you'll be watching, when you're looking down on that yard sale LOL! cool
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Take care, Larryz

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#2877814 - 09/08/17 04:03 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Yep. Assuming you ARE looking DOWN. wink
Whitefang


Edited by whitefang (09/08/17 04:04 AM)
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I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2877827 - 09/08/17 06:26 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: whitefang]
Winston Psmith Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 3190
Loc: Inside the Beltway
Originally Posted By: whitefang
Yep. Assuming you ARE looking DOWN. wink
Whitefang


I'm going to give our brother BiC the benefit of the doubt on this one; he's a good man!
_________________________
"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://4-4-2music.bandcamp.com/album/regrets-only

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#2877830 - 09/08/17 06:33 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
+1 Winston! cool
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#2877846 - 09/08/17 07:20 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: Larryz]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 2887
My wife has instructed me to make a list of everything and what it's worth according to eBay/Reverb, just in case. A good friend is a boutique amp builder and I told her to ask him for help sorting through it if she has any doubts. Another friend owns a used instrument store... she knows he'd low ball her (just how he is), but if she knew what's worth what he'd help her move it. Still, I know her... she would be overwhelmed and not want to deal with it and will probably just give all of it away to anyone who would come immediately to get it out of her hair. So, that's probably what will happen, if she didn't just put it out on the curb. We fight about her lack of appreciation for the value of things... she'll impulsively order a generator after a post-hurricane power outage for $1000, then a few years later when it's never been used sell it for $100 and think she found money. This is the polar opposite of her father, who is a whiz with money... though I see her mother would be the same way if her dad didn't totally control and monitor the finances. She makes a lot more money than I do, so...

We did agree that my 1965 Gibson SG Special and Gibson J-30 acoustic will stay in a closet and when my daughter is an adult she can decide what to do with them. She wants to play "instruments" and at 5 will start violin and piano lessons soon, so she can have whatever she wants... but I do have a lot of stuff.

My record collection will probably be sold, along with the stereo, to the first $50.

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#2877859 - 09/08/17 08:13 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: p90jr]
skipclone 1 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 8009
Loc: Japan
Ya, the `I don`t wanna deal with it, throw it in a dumpster` scenario is dismaying-for any valuables.
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Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

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#2877891 - 09/08/17 10:25 AM Re: When your gear outlives you, or nearly . . . [Re: skipclone 1]
jimmac Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 204
Loc: Jackson, Michigan
I too have procrastinated too long to do a will. I have a couple of step children and a few grown grandchildren so I need to deal with this. I have outlived two wives and about to marry a third (when she finished an MBA program sometime next year). As far as my music stuff I think I will leave Mari a list and have her get it to the stepson and grandsons that also play guitar. I did sign a living medical form to handle treatment during a medical crisis. I also need to get forms signed as I want to leave the body to science likely U of Michigan. Very suprised at how many of us did not have children and have studied martial arts. Jim

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