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NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? #2835088
10/20/20 01:34 PM
10/20/20 01:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,366
South Dakota
hotairballoonpilot Offline OP
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I have been redoing a 55 Studebaker Champion 4 door that a 82 year old brought to us. He bought it brand new and wanted it freshened up. Did not want it restored fully. Just clean up the rust and dents on it and paint it. Said he did not want the chrome redone. I made a deal with him we would take it on and do our best. He is the only customer that I have ever had tell me if something happens to me before we get this done my daughter will take care of finishing the car. Well sadly today we got a call he passed away yesterday before we finished the car. So I am at a loss. His daughter wants to know what it will take to finish the car and will take care of things. Just don't know how to proceed going forward. We have already been doing more things on the car than what was planned and have not billed for those additional things and not planning to either. Has anyone else faced this type of situation and if so what did you do?

Here is my shops facebook page and the album I have going with the car.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=Hartfordsbestpaint&set=a.3391073017608709

corey


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Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: hotairballoonpilot] #2835121
10/20/20 02:40 PM
10/20/20 02:40 PM
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Downtown Roebuck Ont
Twostick Offline
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Nice work!

First you need to find out who is paying you, the daughter or the Estate. If it's the Estate you need to find out who the Executor is. If the Executor is the daughter, it sounds like you're all on the same page, give her the estimate and see what she wants to do.

If she's not the Executor, you need to confirm with him/her that the Estate is on board or even authorized to go forward. If you have any kind of a contract, it would help as the Estate is required to pay all its bills and fulfill its obligations.

Kevin

Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: Twostick] #2835166
10/20/20 04:09 PM
10/20/20 04:09 PM
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So Near, Yet So Far
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^^^ Good advice.
My thinking is: if Daughter was aware of the deal, and the amount due, and is good with all that, then subject to execution of Dad's will, you should be OK.
Additional work not approved in writing, most likely not billable.
Whether or not the daughter or other family wants to keep the car will certainly affect any further work other than agreed upon.
Example: if it was my Dad's '66 Sport Fury or Grampa's '55 Bel Air, I'd want it mint. Others may just want it done quickly and sold off.

Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: topside] #2835193
10/20/20 04:46 PM
10/20/20 04:46 PM
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Spudsville
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Yep, tactfully get squared up and work out a new contract if they wish it so.


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Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: Mr Potatohead] #2835197
10/20/20 04:56 PM
10/20/20 04:56 PM
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85086
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My buddy runs a hot rod shop and he had two people die on the same project after it was willed to the second owner. Finally the family pulled the plug on the project built a garage for it and it's been sitting wasting away.

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Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: hotairballoonpilot] #2835237
10/20/20 06:26 PM
10/20/20 06:26 PM
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Oregon
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Square up with where you are at and then don't spend another dime on it until you have a new contract with writing with the new owner of the vehicle. When ownership of the vehicle changes then everything changes. Color, stance, interior, etc. are all up for change. The new owner might not even like the car. If someone left me a 4 door Studebaker in their will I wouldn't be very pleased. Especially if it was at a shop and the the shop was spending money on it. I'd want that stopped asap.

Last edited by AndyF; 10/20/20 06:27 PM.
Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: moparpollack] #2835243
10/20/20 06:34 PM
10/20/20 06:34 PM
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Freeport IL USA
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I had that happen once. The guy had been coming in weekly to pay and plan the next week. When he didn't show up one week, I called his number a couple days later. The guy died on his treadmill after a workout! I found out over the phone when I called him. Whom ever I was talking with on the phone told me they would get in touch with me after the funeral. I told them to take as much time as needed. The guys daughter came by a week or two later and wanted to know what the current bill was, and how much it would cost to make the car run. I gave them the current bill, and a written estimate to make it run. They paid the current bill, then wanted to cut every corner possible to make it run, which they paid for the day they picked the car up. Gene

Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: poorboy] #2835254
10/20/20 06:48 PM
10/20/20 06:48 PM
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That's a tough situation. I agree with what everyone else is saying. Get whatever you're owed settled up before you continue. It sounds like the daughter is on board since she's contacted you and he had it all worked out ahead of time but it could go downhill fast if she doesn't know what kind of time and money goes into it or if there ends up being some sort of dispute over who gets the car.

Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: AndyF] #2835278
10/20/20 07:37 PM
10/20/20 07:37 PM
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Omaha Ne
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Originally Posted by AndyF
Square up with where you are at and then don't spend another dime on it until you have a new contract with writing with the new owner of the vehicle. When ownership of the vehicle changes then everything changes. Color, stance, interior, etc. are all up for change. The new owner might not even like the car. If someone left me a 4 door Studebaker in their will I wouldn't be very pleased. Especially if it was at a shop and the the shop was spending money on it. I'd want that stopped asap.


iagree and well said beer

Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: TJP] #2835368
10/20/20 10:37 PM
10/20/20 10:37 PM
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Northern MN
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I got a bunch of NOS (but for paint preps) sheet metal for a truck an older fella was fixing up after a deer strike. The body shop had all the parts and had started painting them but the old fella died and the heirs yanked the truck without fixing it. Doubt they ever fixed it, but it meant I got some nice parts at a good price.

Last edited by 1E2C; 10/20/20 10:38 PM.
Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: TJP] #2835369
10/20/20 10:40 PM
10/20/20 10:40 PM
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Sarnia, Ontario
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Not an ideal situation to be in.
I had the owner of a '78 Super Beetle Cabriolet pass away while I was working on it. Unbeknownst to me, the owner had some serious health issues shortly after he dropped it off (he lived in the GTA area, 3 hours away) and appointed his daughter as POA. He didn't mention any of that the several times we talked.
She was a real piece of work. I had to sue for payment, but luckily, I had all my paperwork in order and I did get paid. Took almost a year, though.
Ironically, he was having the car redone so that he could present it to her on her 50th. It was her first car.
The last shop I worked at had the owner of a '56 Ford we were doing pass suddenly. Family pulled the plug and grudgingly paid what was owed up till then. The car is still sitting the way it left our shop... ;(


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Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: restoman] #2835653
10/21/20 01:06 PM
10/21/20 01:06 PM
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South Dakota
hotairballoonpilot Offline OP
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I talked with the daughter yesterday here at the shop. She is all on board and wants to see the car finished up. The gentleman did tell me before we started that if anything happens to him that his daughter was POA and would finish it up. We are all set to get it done and back to the family. She wants things done so she can safely drive the car and take her son who was very close to grandpa and her mom for drives in the car. The family is all on board. So feel better today than this time yesterday.

corey


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Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: hotairballoonpilot] #2835727
10/21/20 04:05 PM
10/21/20 04:05 PM
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East Bay, N. Cal.
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I'd finish that up quickly.


Trying to enjoy life!
Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: calmopar] #2835828
10/21/20 07:15 PM
10/21/20 07:15 PM
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Freeport IL USA
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Originally Posted by calmopar
I'd finish that up quickly.


And for the least amount of money spent as possible, unless you have a new contract and will get paid every week. I'd still move it to the top of the priority list. The daughter and the rest of the family might not be as understanding as Dad was. Gene

Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: hotairballoonpilot] #2835871
10/21/20 08:22 PM
10/21/20 08:22 PM
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Byron, NY
W.I.N. racing Offline
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Yes it happened to me last fall (The only time I didn't take a deposit on a job). The owner of a truck project ('63 Chevy C10 powertrain/suspension upgrade) went on a hunting trip to Alaska. Left our local airport (Western NY) and when he landed he didn't know why he was there. Was able to call home and his wife schedualed flights home, two weeks later he got back... Wound up in Seattle, Minnesota and the same airline even lost him in O'Hare... all after being asked and paid for special handling to get him home. none the less within two months he passed away. basically his body was attacking his brain killing off parts one by one, Started with the short term memory portion, moved to motor functions then speech then finally organ functions. But back to your question. I wound up finishing the truck and selling it for market value. I kept my bill from the sale price and the balance went to the widow. Once work has commenced there is a mechanics lein, its up to you and the estate executor to work out how it gets resolved. in your case talk with the daughter and let her know where things stand and how she want to proceed. Although I become friends with many of my customers its business. Until the dust settles I'd sit on it, give it a month and contact the daughter too start the discussion. twocents


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Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: W.I.N. racing] #2836039
10/22/20 10:37 AM
10/22/20 10:37 AM
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My friend has a repair shop in Utica, Michigan. A guy in his late 80's brought a 1948 Olds 98 4-door in for work. He just wanted the vehicle to run and operate safely so that when he passes, his kids would have his first car to remember him by. He stated that the vehicle was his "wealth" and that was all going to his 2 kids. Well, it took some time but my friend hot the original engine running smooth. The trans was shifting real nice and the brakes were completely rebuilt to as new condition.

The gentleman passed away about 2 years ago and his children took possession of the Olds. They could drive it but could not get into the trunk. So, they brought the Olds back to Bob's garage and asked him to help with the lock mechanism. The key was twisted and worn so he spent time cutting a new key and "massaging" it to fit. He lubed the lock mechanism, freeing it from decades of rust. When he opened the trunk, he found old coffee can after coffee can full of silver half dollars and silver dollars. The old man had over $40,000 in silver coin stored in the Oldsmobile. It was his gift to his children. Bob called his children and told them to get tho the shop ASAP regarding the car. They were truly shock what their dad had in the trunk of his car.


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Re: NE1 have someone pass away when car being redone? [Re: hotairballoonpilot] #2836061
10/22/20 11:19 AM
10/22/20 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by hotairballoonpilot
Thanks everyone for the advice. I talked with the daughter yesterday here at the shop. She is all on board and wants to see the car finished up. The gentleman did tell me before we started that if anything happens to him that his daughter was POA and would finish it up. We are all set to get it done and back to the family. She wants things done so she can safely drive the car and take her son who was very close to grandpa and her mom for drives in the car. The family is all on board. So feel better today than this time yesterday.

corey


It sounds like everything is working out nicely. I don't how you're invoicing them but for the first little while dealing with her it might not be a bad idea to bill her up to whatever amount you are comfortable with so that if something changes you're not having to fight for as large amount of money.







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