To most people, estate planning is merely the act of writing a will and perhaps creating a trust for their heirs or beneficiaries. A simple estate plan like this might be all you need to convey your intentions. It all depends on your unique circumstances.
Did you know that you can do much more with your plan than distribute your assets? With a well-drafted letter of instruction, you have an opportunity to leave your loved ones a final message or set of directions.
What purposes does a letter of instruction serve?
One of the most critical purposes of a letter of instruction is that it gives you immediate peace of mind. You will no longer need to feel concerned over how your family will respond to the contents of your will or estate plan. Other reasons to add a letter of instruction include:
- Explain or clarify your asset distributions to prevent will contests
- Let your loved ones know what to do with the pets you leave behind
- Give your estate administrator guidance in settling your estate
- Distribute low-value sentimental items among your loved ones
- Inform your administrator or family where they can find your financial documents, safe deposit boxes, insurance information, etc.
Many people use a letter of instruction to also impart personal messages or bits of wisdom to their family members. This is yet another opportunity to explain your estate planning decisions. For example, if you left one child your business and another your real estate, your letter can tell them why you made these decisions. Most bereaved family members appreciate knowing the reasoning behind a parent’s final wishes.
We also recommend learning more about Nevada estate planning to ensure you get the most out of your final plan.