MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics
Estate Planning 101, It's Never Too Early to Start that Conversation
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, May 22, 2013 @ 11:08 AM
Part of the Financial Planning Process is a Letter of Instruction
Mark Zaifman   |    Tue, Mar 13, 2012 @ 05:25 PM

You know the importance of having a will and power of attorney, but have you considered the peace of mind a letter of instruction would provide to your family once you are deceased?  Along with developing a financial plan, preparing a letter of instruction is a responsible step to take in your family's comfort and security. 

Simply, a letter of instruction is an informal document that provides your loved ones basic instructions and information regarding your assets and debts.  We spend a lifetime caring for and loving our family, and taking this last planning step in preparing a letter of instruction will help make the transition smooth and less stressful for them. I want to be clear - a letter of instruction does not take the place of a will, but is used along with that and the other important documents such as a durable power of attorney, etc.

You don't want your loved ones to be trying to find any of this important information in their time of grief. You'll want to spell out very specifically where they can locate the following:

  • A list or address book with contact info for friends and relatives to be notified of your death.  If you keep all this infomation on your computer, either provide login information in advance - or better yet, print a hard copy once a year and distribute.
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