When you write your Will you select one or more people who can serve as your estate executor when the time comes. But once you die and it’s time for the executor to begin the estate settlement and probate process, you will also want to have some more specific details ready in the form of a letter of instruction. These letters will give your executor a step-by-step guide to help with the estate settlement process.
Details, Details, Details
Though state probate laws impose very specific requirements on what an executor must do, your executor will still need a little help in finding specific information. Letters of instruction provide this information in detail. For example, your letter of instruction should include each of your credit card accounts, bank accounts, financial accounts, debts, as well as information on how to access these accounts and the contact information for the financial institutions or creditors.
Letters of instruction are also a good idea if you have messages you want to leave to others, or if you want your executor to contact specific people in the event of your death. The letter can include an obituary your executor can send to a local newspaper or personalized messages that your executor can send to friends, relatives, or anyone else.
Your Last Wishes
Letters of instruction are also useful way for you to convey specific funeral instructions or instructions on how to distribute personal memorabilia, sentimental items, or other personal property that was not directly addressed in your Will.