Our lab maintains the cell culture archives of another PI who unexpectedly passed away years ago. These cell lines and other samples have proven valuable to many researchers over the years but honestly its a pain in the ass to curate and deal with requests. Typically, an email pops up in my boss's inbox requesting cell line x from patient with condition y. Boss forwards me asking if we have this? And we better have this because it was on the inventory of lines that was last done about a decade ago. Not to mention the inventory and archiving was less than meticulously done. This means I'm digging through tons of boxes in our liquid nitrogen stocks reading faded and illegible writing or worse labels that are in various states of disrepair or falling off. Then I've got to culture them and find some way (western blots, genotyping, etc) that they are what they are and make freeze backs before sending them out the door.
As much as this last step is a pain in the ass I respect my boss for doing it, because I don't know how many times we have been shipped lines that were the wrong mutants or were supposed to be mycoplasma negative but are teeming with the little creatures. And then off they go.
Do you folks safeguard others samples and dole them out to whoever wants them? And for PI's do you have a plan for what happens to your stuff if you somehow end up kicking the bucket?