Life is unexpected so no one knows when or how they are going to pass away. When creating many people don’t think of allocating their day to day stuff to their family members. Many people are more concerned about assets such as houses, cars, etc. But not many people think to allocate their everyday possessions to their loved ones. Usually a will doesn’t account for these personal possessions. If married, the testator’s personal possessions would be left to their surviving spouse. If you don’t have a spouse then your possessions are given to your descendants, either children, siblings or parents. This means that the executor inventories your house and then decides who gets whats, keeping in mind the wishes of the deceased. If some of your descendants don’t want certain items then they are sold or thrown out.
More often than not a testator will also leave a memorandum as well, which lists particular items and to whom they wish these items to. The last will can reference the memorandum and incorporate aspects of it. Usually the memorandum is used to distribute jewelry or memorabilia. There are many uses of a memorandum. The memorandum provides a sense of privacy for the testator. The public or the family does not see what is being distributed to other individuals. Normally the memorandum is not included in the final will. According to an article published by Nolo, “Another advantage to making a personal property memorandum is that it can help avoid hard feelings among family members. If you simply leave all of your belongings to your children in equal shares, they will have to figure out how to divide everything up”. It’s not always easy dividing things equally, especially personal possessions. Your loved ones might have a difference of opinion with who should get what. If you clearly state in your memorandum who you want to inherit what then it will avoid unnecessary.
Your memorandum doesn’t have to include anything fancy; it is basically a list of personal trinkets and who will receive them. You shouldn’t include any items that have already been included in your will. The last thing you want is for your memorandum to contradict your will. Also it would be best to clearly describe each item so they don’t get confused with any similar items. This makes the job of your executor much easier as they will be able to distinguish between each item. It is also very easy to change your mind when it comes to a memorandum as you wont need to consult a lawyer to make any changes to it.
If items aren’t listed in the will or the memorandum it is up to the executor however, there’s often little monetary value. The memorandum is mainly for distributing the family memorabilia for nostalgia purposes. It is often too difficult to deal with the clutter of our day to day lives, and it’s even harder to deal with when we pass away.