Tangible personal property are items you own that can be touched — things like jewelry, artwork, machinery, and furniture. You have the right to indicate to whom you would like those items to go after your death.
You could include a list of this type of property and whom you would like to receive it in your Will, but depending on how many items you want to designate, your Will could become quite lengthy. Moreover, if you have to formally amend your Will every time you want to make a change, it could become costly.
Instead, at Jones, Kuriloff & Sargent, LLC, our Wills allow clients to leave what is called a Tangible Personal Property Memorandum. The Tangible Personal Property Memo is a separate document from the Will that allows you to create a list of your specific items of personal property that you wish to give to specific people after your death. This does not mean that every piece of property you own must be specifically listed; property that is left off the list will still pass according to the terms of your Will.
In order for the list to be effective, the list must be referred to in the Will, be signed and dated by the testator (i.e. the owner/writer of the Will), and describe the item and recipient with reasonable certainty. The property should be described in a way that would be easily identified by a third party. Later versions of the list will supersede earlier versions. The list should be kept wherever the Will is stored so it can be easily located by your Personal Representative upon your death.
You cannot use this list for real estate or for intangible property such as:
- Money, including bank accounts
- Stocks or bonds
- Copyrights or business interests