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Dividing up your personal property at the time of your death

by | Nov 15, 2010 | Estate Planning |

My law partner and I recently had a discussion as to the difficulties that can arise when trying to divide a decedent’s personal property when they pass away. We have had many cases recently dealing with this issue. It can cause a lot of stress to your family if you do not handle it properly, and should be strongly taken into consideration when making your Last Will and Testament (Will) and other estate planning documents. If a person dies without a Will in Florida then our intestate Statute control the distribution of the decentent’s assets.

As an example, lets says that a decedent dies, not survived by a spouse, but survived by 4 children. In a perfect world, the 4 children will then divide the assets as equally under Florida law.

Many times, however, even when a person has a Will and passes away they leave all personal property to be divided equally to their children. It is much more difficult to divide up personal property, such as furniture, cars, artwork etc, than it is to divide up money or stocks. My firm has seen much family infighting over the issue of dividing up a decedent’s personal property.

That being said, there is a very easy and effective way to insure that your family will not be fighting over who gets your china when you die. You can fill out what we call a Seperate Writing. This list can detail those items of personal property that you want to pass to a certain person. Once it is completed and signed we attach the Seperate Writing to your original Will. Then when you pass away there will be no fight as to who gets what items in your home.

This is just another way that our firm can help you make things easier on yourself and your family. Give us a call if we can help make your life easier!