Insights + Resources

Put it in a Letter

Aug 14, 2019

Paper and pen
Express your wishes.

Actor Lee Marvin once said, “As soon as people see my face on a movie screen, they [know] two things: first, I’m not going to get the girl, and second, I’ll get a cheap funeral before the picture is over.”

Most people don’t spend too much time thinking about their own funeral, and yet, many of us have a vision about our memorial service or the handling of our remains. A letter of instruction can help you accomplish that goal.

A letter of instruction is not a legal document; it’s a letter written by you that provides additional, more personal information regarding your estate. It can be addressed to whomever you choose, but typically, letters of instruction are directed to the executor, family members, or beneficiaries.

Make a Cheat Sheet

Think of a letter of instruction as a “cheat sheet” to your estate. Here are a few ideas and concepts that may be included:

  • The location of important legal documents, such as your will, insurance policies, titles to automobiles, deeds to property, etc.
  • A list of financial assets, including savings and checking accounts, stocks, bonds, and retirement accounts. Be sure to include account numbers, PINs, and passwords where applicable.
  • A list of pensions or profit-sharing plans, including the location of their explanatory booklets.
  • The location of your latest tax return and Social Security statements.
  • The location of any safe deposit boxes and their keys.
  • Information on your social media accounts and how they can be accessed.

 Identify Funeral Wishes

A letter of instruction is also a good place to leave burial or cremation wishes. You should consider giving the location of your cemetery plot deed, if you have one. You may even wish to specify which hymns or speakers you would like included in your memorial service. Although a letter of instruction is not legally binding, your heirs will probably be glad to know how you would like to be remembered. It also may be helpful to leave a list of contact information for people who should be notified in the event of your death.

There is no “best way” to write a letter of instruction. It can be written in your style and reflect your personality, or it can be written to simply convey information. You should decide what type of letter best fits your estate strategy.

Tags:

More Insights

Oct 14, 2019

Talking about “the end” is not the easiest thing to do, and this is one reason why some people never adequately plan for the transfer of their wealth. Those who do create estate plans with help from financial and legal professionals sometimes leave their heirs out of the conversation.

Oct 11, 2019

Do you regularly donate to charities and other non-profit organizations? Then you may want to open a donor-advised fund. Donor-advised funds are becoming popular. It is easy to see why. They offer potential tax perks, and in some instances, a chance to grow money set aside for charitable gifting.

Oct 9, 2019

Are you about to buy life insurance? Shop carefully. Make your choice with insight from an insurance professional, as it may help you avoid some of these all-too-common missteps. Buying the first policy you see. Anyone interested in life insurance should take the time to compare a few plans – not only their rates, but also … Continue reading “Avoid These Life Insurance Missteps”

Oct 4, 2019

Do you have to make a multimillion-dollar gift to a charity to receive immediate or future financial benefits? No. If you’re not yet a millionaire or simply a “millionaire next door,” yet want to give, consider the following options, which may bring you immediate or future tax deductions.

Oct 2, 2019

How healthy a retirement do you think you will have?If you can stay active as a senior and curb or avoid certain habits, you could potentially reduce one type of retirement expense. Each year, Fidelity Investments presents an analysis of retiree health care costs. In 2019, Fidelity projected that the average 65-year-old couple would spend … Continue reading “Retirement Wellness”

Insights + Resources >
Epic Impact Video Series >
-->
Top of Page

Services

Epic Capital provides the following comprehensive financial planning and investment management services: Learn More >

We are preparing the questionnaire, please let us know through the contact page if you want to be notified when it's available.
Thank you.

Epic IMPACT Quarterly Newsletter

To Receive Our Quarterly Impact Newsletter:

 
Your privacy is important to us. We will not rent or sell your information.

Epic Market Commentaries

To Receive Our Market and Economic Commentaries

Your privacy is important to us. We will not rent or sell your information.

7 Steps for Investing with Impact

 
Your privacy is important to us. We will not rent or sell your information.