Don’t overlook this important piece of your estate planning. The letter of last instructions gives your personal representative, as well as your family, details they’ll need to settle financial matters, and resolve your final wishes.
Although, it’s not legally binding, it’s an invaluable resource to your loved ones. It provides final wishes not covered in your will, as well as contact information, they’ll need to close accounts and settle your matters.
What To Write
Often, a letter of last instructions isn’t a letter at all but rather an inventory of all your vital information. It contains personal details which were purposefully omitted from your will.
Examples of items to include are real estate and personal property, insurance, stocks, and other financial assets in your possession.
Your letter should give instructions on how to care for your pets, including veterinary information. How to take care of the plants, who should pick up the mail, and who’s in charge of keeping the lights on.
It should also have how to get in touch with your estate planning team. Such as your estate planning attorney, CPA, financial planner, and insurance agent.
Lastly, it should include vital personal information such your spouse’s name, parent’s last names, military records, social security number, place of birth and other information.
Don’t Sweat The Details
Overall, there’s really no hard and fast rules on what to have in your letter. You can give as much or as little detail as you like. You’ll probably want however, easy to follow instructions for loved ones to follow during a difficult time.
Don’t feel you have to do it all in one sitting. This is a big task and could take you some time but like eating the elephant take it one bite at a time.
It’s A Work In Progress
Since some of your personal information will change over time, such as account names and passwords, your letter will need to changed and updated as well. Additionally, obituary or pet information may change, so those changes should be reflected in your letter.
Keep your letter of last instructions next to your will in a safe place. They are best friends after all. Tell a trusted person, such as your spouse or personal representative where they are. If they’re in a locked place tell them where the key is. DO NOT put them in your safe deposit box.
Get Your Letter of Last Instructions Template
For more information on estate planning, or if you need help with your estate plan or if you’d like to get your free letter last instructions template please send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Use Subject Line: Letter of last instructions. phone: (303) 900-2529
This article is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice about your case or situation. There may be exceptions to the information outlined above. Please speak with an attorney if you have specific questions about your estate plan.Follow me on social media: