The most frequent fights upon the passing of a parent are not about the money, but about the objects that have sentimental value; your mother’s wedding ring, the family bible that has been passed down for generations, or your grandmother’s quilt. These are objects that may have very little financial value, but are filled with meaning and memories, and are irreplaceable in the eyes of your family.
You can’t save your family from the grief and pain that comes with the death of a parent, but you can avoid fights and hurt feelings that can accompany the distribution of personal belongings by creating a Personal Property Memorandum. This is a document in which you name the particular gifts you would like to give to specific people (the coin collection to your nephew, the antique dolls to your sister).
A Personal Property Memorandum is easy to create, and our firm provides each of our clients with one. The Memorandum is a template on which you list each piece of property you wish to distribute, and the person who is to receive the item. Our firm also takes care to mention your Personal Property Memorandum in your trust, which ensures that your personal representative is aware of the memorandum and can carry out your wishes appropriately.
Don’t make the mistake that so often splits a family down the middle. When you take care of the big documents in your estate plan, don’t neglect the small stuff.