What happens to your car, jewelry, furniture, collectibles, etc… after you pass away? Your stuff is what we call in the legal world, your tangible personal property. Usually your Will dictates what happens to your tangible personal property when you pass away.
Florida Statutes allows you the ability to leave a separate writing or a list of items you want to leave to certain people. The separate writing doesn’t require the formalities that a Will or a Trust requires – the only requirement is that the separate writing be signed by you. I do suggest you date it as well so everyone knows which the most recent list is if you have more than one. The separate writing doesn’t require witnesses and a notary. I do suggest to leave the separate writing with the Will and give a copy to your attorney as well. You want to make sure the separate writing doesn’t get lost and make sure it is found in time
Your Will has to reference this separate writing in order for it to be valid. If your Will doesn’t give the option that you may leave a separate writing, then if you leave one, it is not valid. Typically most of my clients want the option to leave the separate writing, and then we include a clause for what happens to the remainder of your tangible personal property for everything not included in your separate writing.
Sometimes we can get really creative with what happens with the rest of your ‘stuff’. Some clients who know the beneficiaries are going to fight will have the beneficiaries draw straws or other creative things to make them get along – or just decide to sell everything. The choice is yours on what happens to your stuff – but the important take away here – is to have a plan and make sure your Will and separate writing reflect this plan.
Schedule an appointment with us to let us help you build your plan.