Tangible Personal Property Lists

/ August 28, 2011

Blank Notepad & Cup of Coffee - iStockWhen grief and emotions run high after the loss of a loved one, the sentimental significance of personal property can increase tremendously. No one really cared about the casserole dish grandma used every Thanksgiving, but once grandma passes everyone stakes claim to that dish.

A tangible personal property list can help alleviate potential disputes between surviving loved ones. A tangible personal property list is a separate document from the Will that allows the testator to bequest specific items to specific people. In Minnesota, a tangible personal property list must meet the following requirements:

  • Be referred to in the Will,
  • Be either in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by the testator, and
  • Describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty.

A decedent may create a tangible personal property list after the execution of a Will and may update or change the list as often as they like without the need to update the full Will (and usually without the need for witnesses or notaries). A testator can list items despite how large or small, including such items as pets or vehicles. However, in Minnesota, monetary gifts, coin collections and property used in the course of trade or business cannot be included in a tangible personal property list.


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