Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What About my Belongings?

By:  Jennifer Boston

When creating your will, you may be tempted to include provisions designating who should receive certain items of tangible personal property (things like furniture, jewelry, and collectibles). If you include these specific provisions in your Will and later change your mind or acquire new property, you will need to prepare a Codicil, which is an amendment to you will that may be costly relative to the value of that property.

Instead, Missouri allows for separate Tangible Personal Property Lists to distribute personal items that are not valuable enough to be included in your estate plan elsewhere (Mo. Rev. Stat. §474.333). This list should include things like computers, furniture, and jewelry, but not homes, cars, or bank accounts. It should be signed, dated, and stored with the rest of your estate plan.

Here is an example of what the list could look like, but you can include as many items as needed: 



Description of Property


Mom—Jane Doe

Sewing Machine


Brother—John Doe

Baseball Card Collection


Neighbor—Mary Sue

Purple Lamp on my bedside table

This simple list will allow your things to end up with the person you really want to have them and make sorting out your affairs a much simpler process. It can easily be amended as your possessions change overtime without updating your other estate planning documents. Tangible Personal Property Lists can be especially useful to settle disputes between family members and to make gifts to family and friends who may really appreciate the sentimental value of an item.


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