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When Is A Personal Chattel Not A Personal Chattel?

This year in America, there has been the sensational case in the estate of the late actor Robin Williams. At this moment in time his wife and his children, from a previous marriage, are in dispute over the definition of jewellery and other things.

In this country there has been a recent change with regards to the definition of personal chattels. Personal chattels means tangible moveable property excluding jewellery, cash, money or securities. For example, personal chattels could be the contents of your home, or any car or vehicle you may own. This list is non-exhaustive.

Wine cellar - personal chattel?

The personal chattels must solely belong to you and must be for your personal use. The unusual change now relates to personal items that you hold as an investment. An example could be a collection of wine purchased as an investment rather than personal consumption; or a painting purchased not for the owner’s pleasure but, again, as an investment. In these cases those items do not fall within the category of personal chattels. Because the law now seems to be focusing on whether a personal chattel is for personal use and investments, it will be inevitable that there will be litigation on this.

For those who may be concerned that there will be disputes over household and personal items, there are many things you can do in your Will. However, depending on the particular item you want to gift away, it would always be best to get legal advice.

At Kerseys Solicitors we have an established private client team who would be happy to advise you in this area.