Colorado Estate Planning: The Personal Property Memorandum

As a resident of Colorado, it’s essential to have your affairs in order should something happen to you. This practice of estate planning involves many different steps and will help to save your loved ones a great deal of time and effort when handling things when you are unable to.

Most of the time, experts will recommend at least having a will in place so that your assets will be able to be dispersed to people of your choosing. However, you can get very detailed with how this happens with a document called the personal property memorandum. Let’s find out exactly what it is and how it can help you.

The Basics

A personal property memorandum is a document that is separate from your will. It lists out all of the items that you want to pass on to a specific person, along with the name of the recipient. This memorandum does not have to be signed in order for it to go into effect, yet it does need to be referred to in your will, which of course is signed in front of witnesses.

Limitations to the Document

While it sounds straightforward to make a list of your belongings, there are a few limitations to this tool. First, not every state allows for the use of a personal property memorandum, but thankfully Colorado does allow it.

Most of the time, items in the memorandum are tangible belongings, like jewelry, antiques, clothing, or keepsakes. Where the document draws the line is at items that aren’t so tangible, like real estate holdings, copyrights, or stocks.

Benefits of a Personal Property Memorandum

Rather than listing out each individual item in your will and making it quite lengthy, the personal property memorandum allows for a summation of all of the gifts you are choosing to pass along. The fact that it specifically lists items and names is also appreciated by those who survive you. Imagine if your children were left with the task of equally dividing your valuables amongst themselves. No doubt there would be conflict and the potential for hurt feelings. Using the memorandum makes it very clear what your intentions are and helps expedite the entire process.

Another feature of the memorandum that is appreciated by estate planners and individuals alike is that it is incredibly easy to make changes. Instead of drafting an entirely new will, you can make edits to your personal property memorandum as you see fit. As long as you continue to refer to it in your will, it will be a valid legal document.

Do you need assistance with your estate planning needs and aren’t sure who to speak with? Call Hulbert & Associates today to get your questions answers and receive help during the process.

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Written by Lori Hulbert

Together the attorneys of the firm have nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of estate planning, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships and conservatorships and civil litigation.