Florida, like many states, has a convenient statutory provision when it comes to dealing with tangible personal property (items such as jewelry, furniture, keepsakes, etc.) through estate planning.
Sadly, as an estate attorney I often see families where a person is in their final days before death and the squabbling has already begun. Often these are families where no one expected there to be bickering over the dying person's estate--and yet it happens all too often. The fact is, sometimes money changes people.This underscores the importance of thorough estate planning.
In setting up your estate plan, there are two main ways to leave items of tangible personal property ("TPP"), such as jewelry or sentimental items, to a beneficiary. You can either make a "specific devise" in your Will or you can include a provision in your Will which states that if you leave a list of items of TPP and who is to receive each item, then that list will be honored. When using the second method, the statement or list is sometimes described by estate planners as a "separate writing." This blog entry is intended to discuss the separate writing method.