Most of us collect a lot of ‘stuff’ over the course of our lives. Some valuable in monetary terms, and some valuable from a sentimental perspective. Many of these personal possessions fall under the definition of ‘personal chattels’.
The definition personal chattels broadly cover’s all tangible moveable property other than that property used solely or mainly for business purposes or held as an investment.
When it comes to dealing with personal chattels in Will there are a few options available:
- They could be left to the residue to be distributed but this could cause disputes between family members. Disputes about the distribution of personal chattels can often turn bitter, due to the sentimental value attached to them.
- The chattels could be gifted specifically in the Will, but it may be impractical to make a long list of chattels and their recipients.
- You could leave all the chattels to a specific person, usually the executor, with a request that they distribute the chattels according to a separate letter of wishes left with the Will.
The third option is the most flexible as it allows you to keep the list up to date. The gifts and beneficiaries can evolve as your possessions and wishes change or as your family grows.
The letter of wishes is not legally binding but does ensure that your wishes are known and allow your executor/s to carry out your wishes.
23 July 2018
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