The Best Way To Pass On Personal And Sentimental Items
Estate planning can seem like a rather daunting endeavor. While many people try to avoid facing their own mortality by developing a formal estate plan, they probably have thoughts on who they would like certain items to go to after they die. You might think, even in passing, that you would like your daughter to have your chess set and your wedding dress, or your best friend to have a set of first-edition books that you own. These might not be the staples of an estate plan, but they are certainly a part of it. So how do you ensure that sentimental and personal items are passed on to your intended beneficiaries, along with your other assets? In this article we will provide general information on this topic. However, if you would like personalized feedback based on your specific situation, you are encouraged to call and schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray.
The Problem with Wills for Personal Items
While some people may prefer to list all delegations of personal and sentimental items in their final will and testament, there are several drawbacks to doing this. First, it can make your will very lengthy. It’s also important to understand that it is not necessarily easy to revise or edit a will. For this reason, every time you change your mind about who you want an item to go to, you may have to execute an entirely new document. It also means that every time you want to add an item, or decide to give an item to someone in real time instead of keeping it until it’s bequeathed to them, your entire will will have to be amended. This can be expensive and time consuming. The inflexibility can also be prohibitive for some.
Personal Property Memorandums for Personal Property
An alternative to listing all personal and tangible items in your will is to create a memorandum that spells out where any personal property should be distributed. This memorandum can then be referenced in the will and unlimited changes can be made directly to the memorandum instead of having to amend or re-execute the will. Many people appreciate this flexibility and find it is a more cost-effective option for distributing their sentimental, personal, and tangible property to their loved ones in the manner that they wish to.
Other Things to Know About Personal Property Memorandums
It’s important to understand that personal property memorandums are best used for sentimental items, not particularly high-value assets. The higher value an asset is, the more susceptible it is to being challenged. Personal Property Memorandums do not offer the same level of protection as wills, so they are not best used for property that is likely to be contested or fought over in court. For instance, you would not want to attempt to transfer real property (such as a house) or high-value items via a personal property memorandum. However, these memorandums can be incredibly persuasive in terms of determining the grantor’s intent and how they wanted their belongings distributed.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are considering an estate plan or would like assistance developing an estate plan that is right for you and ensures that your wishes are protected, the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a West Palm Beach estate planning attorney.