What You Need To Know About Personal Property Memorandums

Estate planning is the only way to ensure that your assets are handled the way you want them to be after your death. Most people know about wills and trusts, but there is another important estate planning document that you may find useful when preparing for your eventual death. This document is known as a personal property memorandum.

To ensure that your estate is fully prepared to be passed along to your heirs, you may find that you need to include a personal property memorandum in your legal materials.

What Is a Personal Property Memorandum?

It can be easy to focus on your major assets when you are planning your estate. Your attorney can help you draft a will or trust that stipulates the distribution of real estate, stock holdings, and financial assets.

What a will or trust can't do is provide for the distribution of your personal belongings. A personal property memorandum can supplement a will or trust to ensure all of your property ends up in the right hands after your death.

What Benefits Can a Personal Property Memorandum Offer?

Many personal items have significant sentimental value, but not much actual monetary value. Including these types of items in a will or trust isn't feasible. The documents would become too lengthy and convoluted. A personal property memorandum separates items with sentimental value from major assets that have significant financial value.

Maintaining separation between these two types of assets can make it easier for the individual managing your estate to complete the disbursement process. A personal property memorandum can also be beneficial in allowing you to leave personal items to non-family members.

Is a Personal Property Memorandum Legally Binding?

An experienced estate planning attorney can prepare a personal property memorandum that is legally binding. The memorandum should be referenced in your will or trust to ensure the continuity of your estate. It's important that you have your personal property memorandum notarized and filed with the court alongside your will or trust.

Family members will be less likely to contest the distribution of your personal property when you have a memorandum in place. This can prevent bitter disputes and give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your personal items will end up in the hands of those individuals you have designated.

Talk to your attorney about adding a personal property memorandum to your estate planning documents in the near future.