A Key Piece to Your Estate Plan
Take the guesswork out of funeral arrangements, division of personal property and location of financial documents for loved ones by completing a letter of final instruction.
Women are more likely than men to have a will. Supplement your will and important legal documents with a letter of final instruction: a non-legal letter that provides detailed information on your personal preferences.
56% of Baby Boomers have a will, but most of them don’t have a letter of instruction, a critical part of estate planning.1
It’s no secret that a will is one of the most important documents you’ll ever complete. But did you know you can supplement your will with another essential document? A letter of final instruction is a personal document that, upon your passing, guides your family on little things that wouldn’t necessarily go into a legal document.
Here are some ways a letter of instruction can help your family:
- Notify appropriate contacts, such as financial advisors, old friends or people your family wouldn’t know to contact.
- Peacefully divide personal possessions not included in your will, such as a treasured painting or autographed baseball. Base this list on a personal discussion you have with your children and grandchildren. Discuss the items that you and they feel are meaningful, share memories about the items, and decide together who will be the recipient.
- Make appropriate burial, cemetery, and funeral decisions based on your wishes. For instance, state whether or not you would like to donate your organs, or include a list of newspapers that you want to receive your obituary information.
- Locate valuable papers and monetary assets, such as tax returns, trusts, safe deposit boxes (and keys), and brokerage accounts.
- Establish an ethical will, which shares your values, blessings, hopes and dreams for the future, and offers love and forgiveness with your family, friends and community.
Here is an important contacts and estate planning form to help you get started.