Quick Tip: Use of Tangible Personal Property Lists

Minnesota Statutes Section 514.2-513 allows people to direct the disposition of specific items of tangible personal property in a writing that is separate from, but referenced in a person's Will.  This is a great way to make sure that specific heirlooms are distributed to specific heirs and is also helpful in avoiding disputes over your personal property among your heirs after your death.  A tangible personal property list can be used to transfer a broad array of personal property, with the exception of money, coin collections, and property used in trade or business.

The list does not require formal execution, so you can change or update the list after your Will has been executed without the need to change the Will.  To be effective, the list must be referenced in the Will, must be either in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by the testator, and must describe the items and recipients with reasonable certainty.  Make sure to date your list because the later version will control if multiple lists reference the same property.  Keep the list with your Will, so that it can be easily found by your heirs.

Want your World War II collectibles to go to your grandson?  Want your antique jewelry box to go to your niece?  Use a tangible personal property list accompanying your Will.  It is generally recommended that every Will have a provision that at least allows for the creation of a tangible personal property distribution list.