10 Things to Include in a Letter of Last Instructions
A letter of last instructions is an informal document and one of the most helpful things you can provide for your family. The letter should express your wishes following your death and give your personal representative or family member the information he or she will need about your affairs.
Preparing a Letter of Last InstructionsThere are key items a letter of last instructions should include to help loved ones navigate the legal and financial issues that follow death. From writing obituaries to filing insurance claims, they will have their hands full--and your information can really help.
The letter should include:1. Personal information that will make paperwork easier (your full name, address, Social Security number, date and place of birth, father's name and mother's maiden name). 2. Location of a will (if there is one). 3. Names of and contact information for friends and family members to be notified of death. 4. Location of all personal documents, including but not limited to birth certificate, Social Security card, marriage papers, citizenship papers, military discharge papers. 5. Information regarding any formal burial plans already made. 6. Membership information for organizations, pensions, and other clubs that might help cover funeral costs. 7. Financial information about all bank and savings accounts (including the location of safe deposit boxes and other hidden accounts). 8. List of all insurance policies (and their beneficiaries) as well as information on accessing each one. 9. Names and contact information for relevant professionals (lawyer, executor of the estate, insurance agents, accountants, investment brokers). 10. A list of all on-line accounts, including user ID's and passwords.