Gifting to Loved ones in Your Will: What Items Can Be Given and Why Should They Be Specified?

When most people think of a will, they often think of the distribution of wealth and assets, such as property, finances, and investments. Writing a will is a crucial aspect of estate planning, but have you ever considered what items you can “gift” in your will? Your will outlines how your assets should be distributed after you pass away, and gifting specific items to loved ones can be a meaningful way to ensure that they receive something special from you.

These items can range from personal belongings, heirlooms, and sentimental items to valuable collections or specific monetary amounts. In this blog post, we’ll explore what items can be gifted in a will, why you should consider specifying these items, and how to go about doing so. All items you decide to gift can be specified in your will with

What items can be gifted?

The list of items that can be gifted as part of a will is extensive. Everything from jewelry and art to cars and furniture can be specified in your will and gifted to a designated beneficiary. You can gift items to family members, friends, charities, or even pets. If you have a specific item in mind that you want to give to a loved one or a particular organization, including it in your will is the best way to make sure that it ends up in the hands of the person or group that you intended.

Why should you specify gifted items in your will?

Specifying gifted items in your will serves several purposes. It gives you peace of mind knowing that your personal belongings are going to the individuals or organizations that you choose. By specifying who should receive your personal belongings, valuable collections, and monetary gifts, you can ensure that your loved ones receive the items that matter most to you. It’s also a practical way to avoid any confusion or disputes between family members over who gets what. When grieving the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want is additional stress and tension caused by disagreements over personal possessions. By having a clear and specific will, you can also help simplify the probate process and ensure that your wishes are carried out exactly as intended.

How do you go about specifying gifted items in your will?

The easiest way to specify gifted items in your will is to create a list of the items you want to gift and the intended recipients. This list should be included in your will with and updated as needed. It’s important to note that an item can only be gifted if it’s legally owned by you, so make sure that you specify only items that are in your possession. It’s also a good idea to review and update your list periodically, especially if circumstances change, such as a change in beneficiary or if you acquire new possessions makes this process easy.

What are some common items that people gift in their wills?

The items people gift in their wills can vary widely depending on personal preference, sentimental value, and financial worth. Some common items include family heirlooms, jewelry, artwork, vacation homes, and vehicles. Others may choose to gift financial assets such as stocks, bonds, or insurance policies to beneficiaries.

Personal Belongings and Sentimental Items

One of the most common types of items that are gifted in wills is personal belongings. These can include jewelry, artwork, furniture, and other sentimental items that hold sentimental value to the deceased. While these items may not hold significant monetary value, they can hold great emotional significance to loved ones. By specifying who should receive these items, the deceased can ensure that their personal belongings will go to individuals who will cherish them.

Valuable Collections

Another type of item that can be gifted in a will is a valuable collection, such as coins, stamps, or antiques. These items may hold a significant monetary value and can be gifted as a specific bequest or as part of a residuary bequest. A specific bequest is a gift of a particular item or amount, while a residuary bequest is a gift of all remaining assets after specific bequests, debts, and taxes have been paid.

Monetary Gifts

In addition to personal belongings and valuable collections, you can also gift specific monetary amounts in your will. These can be in the form of cash or a specified amount from a bank account, retirement account, or life insurance policy. By gifting a specific amount, the deceased can ensure that their loved ones receive a certain financial gift.

Real Property

Apart from personal items and monetary gifts, you can also gift real property in your will. Real property includes land, buildings, and any other fixed assets that are immovable. These can be gifted as a specific bequest, or as part of a residuary or fractional bequest. It is important to note that the transfer of real property may require legal and administrative procedures.

What are the legal implications of gifting items in your will?

It’s important to consult with a lawyer or an estate planning professional before including any gifted items in your will. At all wills are reviewed by an attorney. They can help you navigate any legal restrictions or tax implications associated with gifting specific items. In some cases, certain items may require additional documentation or legal procedures to ensure that they’re gifted properly. Having a lawyer review your will also ensures that it’s valid and enforceable, which can save your loved ones a lot of time, money, and heartache down the road.

Specifying gifted items in your will is an essential aspect of estate planning. Not only does it give you peace of mind knowing your personal belongings will be distributed as intended, but it also helps to avoid any potential disputes between loved ones. Your will should reflect your personal values and priorities, so take the time to thoughtfully consider and establish a list of gifted items. By doing so, you can ensure your legacy lives on through the special items that you gift to others.

Overall, gifting items in a will can help ensure that your loved ones receive the items that hold great sentimental or monetary value to you. Whether it is personal belongings, valuable collections, or specific monetary amounts, these gifts can be specified through a specific bequest, a residuary bequest, or a fractional bequest. By making clear and specific gifts of your assets, you can help avoid potential disputes and conflicts and simplify the probate process for your loved ones. Check out when writing your will. Our attorneys are available to answer any questions you have about gifting or anything else related to your will.

Published 05/19/2023.