Should You Write a Letter of Instruction?

Your will is the formal legal document that tells the court and your personal representative how to administer your estate. But it might not be enough clarity for your loved ones.

Someone who is appointed to settle your affairs after you pass away may find this confusing and overwhelming. Even though the courts can provide some basic direction for steps this person needs to undertake, a letter of instruction is strongly recommended as an additional way for you to support your loved one during this difficult time.

You can make it easier for your loved one to navigate this process by using a letter of instruction. A letter of instruction gives easy to understand details about your overall estate plan, which can also help to break down a very complicated inheritance structure. It is not required, however, to have a complicated estate in order to benefit from a letter of instruction.

These letters are not legal documents, but can provide additional context for a loved one who has been appointed in the role of executor of your estate or personal representative. This can also reduce the possibility of lawsuits filed against the validity of your estate, because these make it easier for your loved ones to understand everything that went into your decisions and why you have elected to make the choices that you did.

A letter of instruction means that someone may not have the necessary grounds to pursue a will challenge or other lawsuit against your estate. This document can leave personal messages for your loved one or can be seen as a supplement to the instructions of your will. You might include personal preferences, such as medical or funeral care in a letter of instruction. For more information on how best to support your loved ones during this period of transition, schedule a time to meet with an estate planning attorney in Pasadena.

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