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By: Scott Grossman on September 15th, 2016

Personal Property: Six Common California Will Provisions

Serving as the personal representative of an estate is not always an easy task. Especially for those who have never served in this role in the past, the steps for carrying out the administration of the estate may seem confusing. Many of these steps are outlined in the California will of the person who passed away. This includes steps for handling and distributing the tangible personal property of the estate. Tangible personal property may include items such as furniture, jewelry, or clothing. Typically, among other provisions, the will contains a clause that specifically directs how the personal representative should deal with these assets.

What are some examples of how the personal representative might handle tangible personal property?

The following are six common scenarios:

  1. The will may direct the representative to distribute all of the tangible personal property to one individual.
  2. The will may direct the representative to distribute all of the tangible property. This is to a group of individuals, either in equal shares or in differing, identified shares.
  3. The will may direct the representative to distribute the personal property to a group of beneficiaries, in amounts and in the manner that the personal representative sees fit, at his or her discretion.
  4. The representative may be directed under the will to have each of the beneficiaries take turns selecting items of tangible personal property until all such property has been distributed.
  5. The representative may need to sell all of the tangible property by direction on the will. They must then distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries.
  6. The representative may need to donate all of the tangible personal property to a charity or other institution.

As part of the process of handling the tangible property of the estate, you may need to access the decedent’s safe deposit box.

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