Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Include A Letter of Last Instruction

All of my clients receive a sample letter of "last instruction" when they complete an estate plan. This letter is a key element of an estate plan, and is drafted (usually) without the assistance of an attorney. When writing your letter, imagine yourself speaking to your personal representative, telling him or her the little tidbits they need to know in order to finalize your estate. Examples include:
  • what bills you receive on-line;
  • what bills are set up for auto-payment;
  • who is willing to take in your pet as well as information about your pet (veterinarian, special diet or meds, etc.);
  • the name and phone number for professional services (accountant, attorney, yard maintenance, etc.);
  • who should be contacted about your passing (relatives, friends, co-workers, church members, classmates, etc.). I keep a list of my holiday card mailing list with my papers, with instructions for the PR to mail an order of service to those who were not able to attend.

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