You state your final wishes when you create an estate plan, and this is done through the execution of legally binding devices. At the same time, there is some practical, hand to mouth information that you need to pass along to your estate administrator. You share this information when you create a letter of final instruction.
If you use a last will to facilitate future asset transfers, the estate administrator is going to be the executor. The executor must have access to all important paperwork, like estate planning documents, insurance policies, financial paperwork, etc. You should let the executor know where all these documents can be found.
You may want the executor to contact certain people after your death. There can be personal connections, and there may be professionals that are going to be part of the postmortem process. If you are working with a certain accountant, estate planning attorney, insurance agent, and/or funeral director, you should provide the appropriate contact information.
It is possible to arrange for your estate planning attorney to guide your estate administrator through the postmortem phase, and this can be a very valuable connection. The executor may be trustworthy, but he or she may have limited estate administration experience.
There are practical things to share in your letter of final instruction, like the location of keys to real property, vehicles, storage units, safe deposit boxes and the like.
Many of us conduct a great deal of business online. If you have financial accounts that you manage in a paperless manner, you should include usernames and passwords in your letter of final instruction.
Blogs and websites are another thing to take into consideration. If you have electronic real estate, you should provide access information and let your administrator know how you want these properties be handled.
Your letter of final instruction should also include a list of your social media accounts. You should let your administrator know how you want your social media accounts to be dealt with going forward.
Some people have specific ideas with regard to final arrangements. You can pass along your wishes in your letter of final instruction.
These are a handful of things to consider, but you can use common sense when you are creating the letter. You are simply providing information that the administrator will need to handle the business of your estate after you pass away.
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