Use a tangible personal property list to clearly specify who you want to receive your personal property.
Idaho Code Section 15-2-513 expressly permits the use of a statement separate from your Will to dispose of non-business, tangible personal property upon your death. If you want to use such a separate written statement rather than itemize the disposition of tangible personal property in your Will, you should know and follow the requirements set forth below:
- No duplication. The separate written statement should not include items already specifically disposed of by you in your Will.
- Assets that may be disposed of by written statement. Common examples of property that may be disposed of include personal effects, jewelry, family heirlooms, furniture, antiques, art work, books, household items, sporting equipment, automobiles, etc.
- Assets that may not be disposed of by written statement. A separate written statement cannot be used to dispose of money, evidence of indebtedness, documents of title, interests in real property, securities or property used in a trade or business.
- Date and sign written statement. Each page of the statement should be dated and must be signed by you.
- Clearly describe each item. Clearly describe each item so that it is easily identified and not confused with another similar item.
- Designation of beneficiary (devisee). Each beneficiary (also referred to as a “devisee”) should be identified by his or her proper name and relationship to you. The address of the beneficiary should be added if the beneficiary is not closely related to you so that proper identification is assured.
- Alternate Beneficiary. You may wish to consider providing for an alternative beneficiary if the first-named beneficiary does not survive you, although this is not necessary.
- Change in designation of beneficiary or property. You may change the devisees or property designated in the separate written statement from time to time or revise or revoke the entire statement. Changes should be made only by preparing a new statement patterned after the original form. The old statement should be destroyed. Changes should never be made by alternation on the face of an executed statement; your intent will inevitably be unclear.
- Retain written statement in safe place. The separate written statement should be kept in a safe place where it can be easily found, preferable with your original Will.
- Notice to Personal Representative. We recommend that you notify the personal representative named in your Will regarding the location of the written statement.
- Periodic review. The written statement should be reviewed periodically and kept current.
Families often fight more over mom’s wedding ring or dad’s hunting rifle than they do over the distribution of a 401K. A tangible personal property list is often overlooked, but is an important document to prevent disputes between family members when settling an estate.
Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all of Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a Senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.