The death of a loved one is a time of grieving for the survivors. You likely know how hard it will be on your family after you die. This is why you want to make it as easy as possible for your loved ones to carry out your estate plans. One way you can do so is to leave them a letter of instruction.
Money Crashers explains that a letter of instruction is a separate document from a will. It is not legally binding. Instead, it offers clarity and information to your executor and your family. There are different ways you can use a letter of instruction to your family’s benefit.
List your funeral plans
It is important not to list your funeral plans in a will. Sometimes your loved ones may not read your will until after a burial. In a letter of instruction, you can write down your preferences for your burial or cremation. You can describe how you want your burial, where you want it, the name of the funeral home and the kind of flowers you want.
List your documents and assets
You do not want your executor to scramble to find your important papers after you die. A letter of instruction can tell your executor and family where your financial and legal documents are, including how to access them. You can also provide contact information for your attorney and financial advisors. And since your executor will need to administer your estate, you can make things easier by listing your assets and where they are.
Write a message to your family
Your family might not always agree with your estate decisions. In some cases, family members go to court to contest portions of a will. This may not happen with your family, but if you sense discontent could arise with your loved ones, consider writing a message explaining your decisions. Even if your relatives still disagree, they may appreciate your explanation.
You can also write messages dealing with other topics, like which member of your family should care for your pet. You can also take the opportunity to express how you want your relatives to use their inheritance. Such messages can take away the pressure of making hard decisions in the wake of your death.