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“I Know What Will Happen to my Finances, but What Will Happen to my ‘Stuff?’”

A common question in estate planning is: “How do I dispose of my ‘stuff?’” While bank accounts can have beneficiaries listed, and items like homes and vehicles can be titled over to a trust, passing on the jewelry, furniture, and antiques around our homes may be less obvious, but does not necessarily need to be more confusing.

One way is for an individual give away items while he or she is still alive, but what can we do if a person wants to hold on to these things until they pass away?

Personal items can be disposed of in a will or a trust, but then an individual must meet with his or her attorney to update that document every time he or she decides to make an adjustment (for example if a grandmother wants to pass on her pearls to a new granddaughter-in-law, or if an individual acquires new jewelry or other property that was not included in a previous will or trust).  



However, a better strategy would be to dispose specific property by referencing a tangible personal property list or memorandum in your estate planning document. By referencing the list in a will or trust (rather than as part of the estate planning document itself) clients can list out specific items and who should receive them. Then, clients can simply update the list as needed, without having to change their primary estate planning documents. Each time the list is updated, an attorney does not need to be consulted, and the document does not need to be notarized, the client simply needs to sign and date to ensure that the most recent changes are the ones that are followed when the time comes to distribute the property.

Contact Skillern Law Firm Today

The best strategy is to implement the personal property list or memorandum as part of a larger estate planning strategy with a will or trust. If you are interested in setting up your own estate plan, the attorney as Skillern Law Firm, PLLC will be happy to assist you in finding the best option that is tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today at 918-805-2511 or contact@skillernlaw.com.

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