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Law Lingo: Personal Property Memorandum

Welcome to Law Lingo: a monthly blog series brought to you by The Brown Law Firm, LLC that explains estate planning terminologies in simple terms. This month we will explain a personal property memorandum.

A personal property memorandum is an addendum to your will that allows you to list out specific personal property items that you wish to leave to specific individuals. This can be a very short list or a lengthy one. To avoid confusion, the more specific you can be in this document, the better. For example, you may want to list out the contact information for each person to make it easier for your personal representative to locate each individual.. (This may require that you update the document frequently.)

Examples of a Personal Property Memorandum Line Item

“I, Mary Sue Jones, bequeath my vintage brown Disney Mickey Mouse Leather Bomber Jacket Flying Squadron to my niece, Jennifer Eloise Jones, who resides at 101-A Bluebird Circle, Thornton, CO 80023.”

In this example, Mary may have a close Disney connection with her niece because they take a vacation to Disney World every year. Mary knows that sharing this jacket will be very meaningful for her niece.

Personal property items do not have to be monetarily valuable – any tangible item can be included.

“I, Harold Matthew Smith, bequeath the pencil drawing I made of our family barn to my brother, Harvey Michael Smith. This drawing with a bright red frame has hung in my dining room since 1978. Harvey Smith resides at 32990 Goldenrod Lane, Salida, CO 81201.”

Even though Harold’s pencil drawing is not worth a lot of money to outsiders, the sentimental importance to his brother and the rest of the family is invaluable.

Items that Cannot Be Included in a Personal Property Memorandum

Any type of jewelry, art, furniture, automobiles, clothing, etc., can be included in your personal property memorandum. However, there are some restrictions on what can be included. For example, you cannot include items such as:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Copyrights
  • Bank account
  • Real Estate

In Colorado, personal property memoranda are considered legal if they have been typed or handwritten and signed by the creator. You can change your document at any time, as long as it is signed when you are finished making changes.

Still confused by personal property memorandum or any other legal terms? The Denver estate planning lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC are here to help. Contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to meet with our experts.