I recently became aware of an online course produced by the University of Wyoming regarding estate planning. I decided to take the course myself by reading the documents that are on line. Here is the link to all the articles http://www.wyomingextension.org/publications/bulletins-estateplanning.asp
This week I read the article on personal property memorandums. The link to that article is http://www.wyomingextension.org/agpubs/pubs/B1250-8.pdf If you have things of modest value such as sporting equipment, tools, household items, etc. that you want to leave to a friend or relative after you die, you should review this article and consider using such a memorandum. The memorandum is inexpensive since you can prepare it yourself. It is flexible since you can change it at any time. The memorandum is also effective if you follow the simple rules set forth in this article. My only caution that is not mentioned in the article is, DO NOT USE IT FOR VERY VALUABLE ITEMS. For this purpose, I am not referring to sentimental value, but market value. I would not use it for anything worth more than $10,000. If you are more cautious you may decide not to use it for something worth over $1,000. So, if you have have an item worth $10,000 or more, it is my opinion that it should be specifically given by the terms of your will. On the other hand you may have a shotgun or a fly rod that your grandson would consider priceless, that may be only worth a few hundred dollars at sale. That shotgun or fly rod would be an ideal item to be given on a personal property memorandum. The memorandum could be a wonderful tool to surprise a grandchild, a neighbor, or a longtime friend with a prized possession after your death. If this sounds like a good idea, read the article and become knowledgeable about personal property memorandums.