Apologies for dragging this out. A few years ago we developed a clinic on Estate Planning for Model Railroaders, and I ended up giving it at several conventions, including the National here in Cleveland. It's distressingly popular (a lot of us are getting older). We developed this clinic because we heard just too many stories like the widow who sold the brass for $75 each, or, worse, the guy who never told his wife how much he actually spent, and shortly after his demise one of his "really good friends" offers his widow $500 and is happy to take all those silly trains(like $20K worth) out of his basement.
I just uploaded, or I think I uploaded, the handout for the clinic to the Files. Also, if you Google "Estate Planning for Model Railroaders", the NMRA has a clinic that's on their website. For a lot of you this is common sense. And I'll admit up front that it sort of focuses on brass, but absolutely not entirely. The comment in the handout about $3.00 plastic cars does not apply to that perfectly assembled Westerfield kit--but you do have to think about what that car is really worth to someone else on the open market. But I'd like to give you some bullet points here.
1)Have an inventory; a realistic inventory. An inventory that someone else can understand and locate the "stuff". Two samples of an inventory are in the handout. They are just samples.
2)Discuss the inventory with your insurance agent--your experiences are clearly going to vary
3)Discuss the issue with your probable survivors, so that they have some realistic idea of what it's worth (I've seen this go both ways), and know who to contact, who to not even let in the house, and understand the relationship between time and money--like is it worth it to take less money and get rid of the whole shootin match, or go to train shows for three years.