What is a letter of final of instruction? Should you have a letter of final instruction as part attached to your will?
A letter of final instruction is kind of an extension to your will, and they’re a great idea. The letter is a list of detailed instructions to the person in charge of handling your estate (your “executor” or “executrix”). These instructions are not legally binding, but that doesn’t mean they’re worthless. Just because a court can’t uphold these instructions doesn’t mean they’re not incredibly helpful to your executor.
In fact, the letter of instruction–if you do it correctly–may end up being the document your executor refers to the most. It may even be a good thing that letters of instruction aren’t legally enforceable. For example, if you give one daughter the fine China, and this upsets your other daughter–they can work it out on their own because the gift wasn’t legally enforceable.
So, what should you include in your letter of instruction to the get the most out of it? Here are some suggestions, though you should feel free to add any other information your executor will find helpful:
– list of bank accounts along with PIN numbers
– location of safety deposit box
– list of where you’d like specific pieces of person property to go (for example, “I’d like my niece, Jenny Jenson, to take all the porcelain figurines in the living room display cabinet,” etc.)
– location of your important documents, including: marriage certificates, deeds, life insurance policies, retirement policy info, etc.
– details on funeral arrangements. By the way, if you haven’t thought of a pre-paid funeral, please consider it.
– anything else you can possibly think of that would assist your loved ones
There’s no set guideline for this letter of instruction. The more information and instruction you provide, the more stress you’ll alleviate for your family.
To read more about letters of instruction and even download a template for a letter of instruction, refer to an online Smart Money article written by Catey Hill HERE. http://blogs.smartmoney.com/encore/2011/06/09/the-%E2%80%9Cmissing-link%E2%80%9D-in-your-estate-plan-may-leave-heirs-in-the-dark/?link=SM_hp_featStory
Isaac Shutt is the Attorney/Owner at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Visit http://www.shuttlawfirm.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this blog or to discuss a different legal matter. Phone-calls and quick e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re looking for a Richardson probate lawyer, Richardson wills lawyer, Richardson estate planning attorney, or Richardson guardianship lawyer.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this blog post constitutes legal advice. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney. Further, nothing in this blog shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until you sign an engagement letter with the Firm.