What is the “Personal Property Memorandum” referenced in my will?

A personal property memorandum is a separate document that allows you to make gifts of your tangible personal property (i.e. things like furniture, jewelry, and electronics, but not money or real estate). All you have to do is list and describe the property and who you want to gift it to, and then refer to the personal property memorandum in the body of your will (so your executor and the court knows that it exists). The memo can be made before or after the rest of your will, does not need to be witnessed, and can be updated at any time.

In this case, the Qwill mobile app includes a feature called “Capture,” where you’ll be able to take pictures of items and incorporate it into your personal property memorandum. Want to leave your BFF Julie those Prada pumps that she’s always coveted? Easy. Just snap a picture through the Qwill app and leave a note. The personal property memorandum feature is coming soon, but we’ve included this provision in the body of your will now so that you’ll be able to refer to it later without having to execute a new will.

Note: Even though most states allow it, not all states recognize the validity of personal property memorandums. But don’t worry, if that’s the case, you’ll still be able to use the Capture feature as a means to leave further detailed instructions for your executor to follow (even if it’s not incorporated into your will). There are also limits on what you can give away in this fashion. Many states have monetary caps on the value of the stuff you leave like this, i.e. it can’t be more than $5,000 combined. So save your house and expensive jewelry for the will!

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