Using a Letter of Instruction In Your Estate Plan – 2 Tips
A letter of instruction is a useful, and sometimes overlooked, estate planning tool that everyone can
use. Unlike a will or trust, there are no legal requirements for a letter of instruction, making them very
adaptable documents. However, a court will not rely on a letter of instruction either, so you need to
use them properly to get the most out of them.
Tip 1: Give your executor clear instructions.
A letter of instruction allows you to express your final wishes to friends and family, but also allows you
to tell your executor about all the details he or she needs to get started. You'll want to tell the
executor specifics such as where important documents are located, what assets your executor will
have to find, the details of your bank and financial accounts, as well as funeral arrangements or
services you have already made or want to be made.
Tip 2: Give guidance to family and friends.
Your family and loved ones will be in a state of grief after your death and they may not be able to think
clearly or do everything you would have wanted. A letter of instruction lets you leave them guidance.
If you want specific people or organizations contacted about your death, you can leave that
information in the letter. You can also create an obituary and include it in the letter so your family can
send it to media outlets.
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