I want to turn over my personal property to my sister before I die. How do I do that?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I want to turn over my personal property to my sister before I die. How do I do that?

We are both in California. I have had some heath issues and have become concerned
about making things earlier for her and for me. Can I write something simple up
or does everything I have have to be inventoried and a price given for each item?

Asked on February 8, 2019 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Anything you don't need, you can simply give her now: if you anticipate that some other heir or relative may try to contest things later, send her an email (so the delivery date is automatically shown) saying something like "[Sister's name], as we discussed, I've given you my [insert brief list]. I know you did not have the chance to pick take these things when we spoke, but you can come by and get them whenever you want." If you give them to her while you are alive, they are hers; it's just good to have simple documentation of what you gave her, in the event of a challenge.
If you think you may or will need them, then instead simply will them to her. I can be as simple as "I leave all my personal property [if there are any exceptions, like a keepsake going to someone else, put them in here] to my sister [insert sister name]."

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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