Monday, May 9, 2011

Disposition of Tangible Personal Property By List or Statement - What Is "Tangible Personal Property"?

Nevada, like most states, permits a person’s Last Will And Testament and Trust to refer to a separate, written statement or list to dispose of “tangible personal property” not otherwise specifically disposed of by the terms of the Last Will And Testament or Trust. In this regard, the question often asked is “What is tangible personal property that can be disposed of by such a written statement or list?” The applicable Nevada statute attempts to answer such question by defining certain tangible personal property that cannot be disposed of by such a written statement or list, namely “money, evidences of indebtedness, documents of title, securities and property used in a trade or business.” NRS 133.045. Accordingly, a person should never attempt to dispose of “money, evidences of indebtedness, documents of title, securities and property used in a trade or business” via a written statement or list. Examples of these items are cash, financial accounts, promissory notes, deeds of trust-mortgages, stocks, bonds and real estate.

Common examples of tangible personal property that can be disposed of by such a written statement or list are furniture, furnishings, rugs, pictures, books, silver, linen, china, glassware-crystal, objects of art, wearing apparel, jewelry and guns. One of the most common examples of property disposed of by a written statement or list is the wedding and engagement rings of the testator passing to a particular daughter or granddaughter.

Some of the advantages of using such a written statement or list are that it can be prepared before or after the execution of the Last Will And Testament and Trust, and it can be altered by the testator after the list has first been prepared. However, one must be careful to abide by the legal requirements of a valid written statement or list under Nevada law such as the statement or list must contain the date of its execution, the statement or list must contain a reference to the Last Will And Testament or Trust, et cetera.

The attorneys at Jeffrey Burr Ltd. have many years of experience in estate planning, and always inform clients of their option of disposing of part or all of their “tangible personal property” via a written statement or list. In the event a client wishes to utilize such a written statement or list, we insure that such statement or list is valid, enforceable, and carries out the wishes of the client.

 - Attorney John Mugan

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