My wife and I are needing to get a will drawn up or at least get one started. Not because anything is happening to either of us anytime soon, but because we put it off long enough. As most of you know, we have three kids, two boys and one girl. All three kids enjoy the tractor collection, however it's too large to let them pick through everything and claim pieces they want, and be able to end up fairly as far as worth. I'm sure they kids don't care about worth or a final dollar amount, but I want to be sure they are all ending up with at least the same amount of value as possible.
About three years ago, I listed all of the tractors that I own, each on an individual piece of paper, folded each piece and threw all of them into a hat. Each kid drew a piece of paper one at a time and I wrote down what tractor they drew. It worked out that they all got the same amount of tractors, (10 each) however, some tractors are valued a little more than others, and my youngest son seemed to pull all of the highest valued ones like both '66 112's and the '63 110. All three kids decided this method of drawing tractors was fair, and they all seem content with the final results, but I just don't feel right about it. Even though they all agree now, I can just see how this will all turn out years down the road after my wife and I pass on. Plus, when the time comes to read the will, I don't want the kids to feel obligated in finding a place to store their newly inherited collection, especially if their interest in tractors fall by the way side throughout the years.
As like most people, my wife and I are planning on having a long life and growing old together, and if all goes well, we will have a public sale of most of our items or belongings before we go. I don't want the kids to have to sort everything out later and taking the chance of ruining their relationship by fighting over our little petty things.
Anyway, here is my questions for the group to give some input or ideas:
1. Am I wrong for separating the tractor collection this way? Should I only give each kid one tractor to choose, say put only the three high valued tractors in the hat, and let them drawl only from them? This way they would each get just about the same amount. They already have a tractor each that was willed down from my Dad, and I will make a note in our will about those, as well as include a picture of each tractor with the kids name attached, so there won't be any concern as to who owns which. So even though they'll already have a tractor each from Dad, would I be overwhelming them by willing them with a tractor from my collection?
2. If only willing three tractors from my collection, would you state in the will that all other tractors get sold at public auction and the final dollar amount gets split equally between the three?
3. Would you included an attachment with each tractor? Before you answer, I would include a mower deck with each tractor as standard, so when I ask about an attachment, I'm referring to something other than the deck. Again my question would be, would you list all of the attachments individually or just list the ones that are higher in value and let the kids draw from a hat?
4. When it comes to choosing the attachments, my Model 20 Air Compressor is probably the most valued attachment. Since it's valued more than my other pieces, would you sell this at auction or would you have the kids draw for it, but maybe do a best of seven draw, that way then each kid would have a better chance on getting it? At least if one of them draw it, it will stay in the family. If it goes for auction, it could possibly go into someone else's hands. All three kids know how hard these compressors are to find, but my oldest son is the only one who really shows any interest in it.
4. I have enough rear wheel weights, hubcaps, dump carts, and integral hitches for three tractors if that is the way we decide to break up everything, so would you include these with each tractor or would you sell them separately?
5. A little different topic, but would you will out your wrenches, socket sets, and other miscellaneous hand tools, or would these be considered public sale items only?
Some of you guys will think that these are kind of anal questions, and might think they are no brainers, but to me, these are tough questions. I believe in being fair, considerate of how things might stand down the road, and confused on how things should be broken up. After 25 years of collecting, it almost seems like it was easier putting the collection together, than it is now trying to figure out the best way to split it apart!