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How can Florida parents leave personal items to grandchildren?

Feb 1, 2017 | Estate Planning

Most parents have special items — often items without significant value — that they want to leave to particular children or grandchildren. These can include furniture, jewelry, paintings, books, dishes or even pets and more. Wills do not typically include these personal items, and Florida authorities say emotional attachment to such property can often cause contention between siblings or grandchildren.

To avoid arguments, the person can draft a list of those possessions and to whom each item must go. This is called a personal property memorandum and can be modified when necessary. He or she can add newly acquired items and make changes over time. Although it is not required, the drafter can get witnesses to sign the memorandum along with him or her.

To validate such a memorandum, most states require a clause in the person’s will that refers to the separate memorandum to direct the disposing of his or her tangible personal property. Parents sometimes ask their children to point out items to which they have special attachments. This can help the person to draft a list that will prevent bitter feuds between surviving family members.

Florida residents who consider drafting a personal property memorandum can get all their questions answered by an experienced estate-planning attorney. A skilled lawyer can assist with these and other estate-planning matters. Many people find peace of mind knowing that their wills, trusts and other estate-planning documents are in place and up to date. By reviewing estate plans at regular intervals, necessary adjustments can be made that will ensure that loved ones will receive that which was intended for them.

Source:, “Personal property memorandum can keep peace among heirs: Linda Rhodes“, Dr. Linda Rhodes, Accessed on Jan. 27, 2017