When you plan your estate, there will be a legal document at the core that you use to state your wishes regarding the distribution of your monetary assets. For most people, it will be a last will, and there are others that use trusts of various kinds.
Making your decisions known can seem like the long and short of it, but you should certainly take the estate administration process into account. If you use a will, you would name an executor to act as the trust administrator after you are gone.
How does the executor know how to find all of the information that is necessary to make these wishes come to fruition? The answer is that it will take a lot of research and digging unless you take steps to simplify the process. This can be done through the inclusion of a letter of final instructions.
The Anatomy of the Letter
This would just be a communication between you and the person that is going to handle the estate administration tasks. There would be no legally binding element, so there are no hard and fast rules. You simply have to ask yourself what the person will need to know to administer the estate effectively.
The above being stated, we can provide some basic ideas. First of all, you may want to provide contact information for people that you would like the executor to inform about your passing. This would be individuals that may not hear the news organically, like some friends, distant relatives, former coworkers and associates, etc.
In addition to the personal side of things, there are people that must be notified in their professional roles. These could include real estate personnel, insurance agents, your attorney and accountant, brokers, bankers, investment managers, and anyone else that the executor should get in touch with after your passing for business reasons.
Access information for all of your accounts would be part of the equation as well, and this would definitely extend to the electronic arena. Many people pay their bills online, and so you should pass along usernames and passwords.
Aside from the financial accounts, there are other digital elements. You can give instructions with regard to the way that you want your social media accounts handled. If you have a blog or a website, this digital real estate must be accounted for as well.
A lot of people have very specific ideas about their final arrangements. You can explain which funeral home that you prefer, the clergy member that should officiate, the method of final rest, the cemetery that you want to use, and even the music that will be played at your funeral.
These are some things to think about, but as we have stated, you know better than anyone else what the executor will need to be able to administer the estate properly.
Download Our Estate Planning Worksheet
We have developed an estate planning worksheet that you can use to gain a more thorough understanding of the process in a straightforward and simple manner. It is being offered free of charge at the present time, so there is no reason not to take advantage of this valuable resource.
To get your copy, visit our worksheet access page and follow the simple instructions.
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Our firm is dedicated to education, and we provide countless resources on this blog, but that’s not the long and short of it. We make an effort to get out into the community to interact with our neighbors in person through the seminars that we conduct on an ongoing basis.
There is a fresh series coming up over the next few weeks, and we hold the seminars at multiple different strategic locations so that everyone will have easy access at some point. You can learn a lot if you attend one of the sessions, and there is no admission charge.
All you have to do is identify the date that works for you and follow the simple instructions to register. Visit our seminar schedule page and reserve your seat today!