Florida law permits the use of a “separate writing” to dispose of certain items of personal property part of your last will and testament. Here are some common questions and answers that may assist your family from arguing over certain items upon your death, all in a simple and efficient manner.

Why use a Separate Writing in my Estate Plan?

A separate writing is best used to make sure certain tangible items go to certain people who may otherwise argue over who receives what. This allows you to make small changes to your estate without going to your attorney for items of personal property.

How do I use a Separate Writing?

If your will or trust authorizes a separate writing, you can create a list of certain property to be distributed to named beneficiaries. The writing must be signed and dated but it is not witnessed or notarized. You should describe the item with specific clarity.

What is covered with a separate writing?

Your separate writing covers antiques, furniture, jewelry and more, but specifically excludes gifts of cash, stocks, and bonds. If you think your heirs may argue over the property, or if you promised a specific item to that person, you would write it down on a separate sheet, which is then legally binding.

Where should I keep the separate writing?

Keep it attached to your will or in your estate binder so that your heirs could easily find it upon your death. 

Learn more about Florida Estate Planning

Good estate planning means more than just will, trusts and incapacity planning, but also trying to avoid arguments or hurt feelings with your loved ones. If you want to learn more about estate planning, join us for one of our free monthly seminars


D. Rep DeLoach III
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Estate Planning and Board Certified Elder Law Attorney