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What Is A Letter Of Instruction, And Why Is It Important?


Creating a will or trust as part of your estate plan is a great way to plan for not only your future, but also that of your loved ones. Your family will have to determine what steps to take next and they will be looking for guidance during a very difficult time. Once you have created the most important parts of your estate plan, a letter of instruction can also be very helpful for your loved ones. Below, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer outlines what to include in your letter, and other important considerations.

What to Include in Your Letter of Instruction 

There are many things you should include in your letter of instruction that will be very beneficial to your loved ones. They include:

  • The location of your will, trust, and other important documents,
  • An explanation of your property and assets and how they are used, for your surviving spouse,
  • A list of the names, addresses, and contact information of your attorney, accountant, banks, broker, family members, and friends,
  • As much information you can provide about savings and checking accounts, CD’s, business affairs, safety deposit boxes, and other important contracts,
  • A list of company pension benefits and life insurance policies and the contact information concerning these,
  • The location of divorce or separation agreements as well as adoption papers and birth certificates,
  • The location of tax returns and any information regarding taxes,
  • A list of credit cards and other loan arrangements so they can be immediately changed or canceled, and
  • A list of names, addresses, and contact information of all beneficiaries.

What is a Separate Writing?

 Many wills in Florida allow for what is known as a separate writing. Separate writings are itemized lists of personal belongings such as collectibles, clothing, furniture, firearms, and other assets of tangible personal property you wish to leave to a specific person. You can use a separate writing to pass property to a specific beneficiary, or to divide the property between multiple people, such as your children. This is an effective way to pass heirlooms to future generations.

When creating a separate writing, it is critical that you are very specific. Your loved ones will be feeling many emotions and being specific will help avoid disagreements, conflicts, and disputes among your relatives and other beneficiaries. Even the smallest assets can cause controversy and your family members may not be able to agree, despite your wishes.

After creating your will, trust, letter of instruction, or separate writing, it is important to review them at least every two years. The laws and your own personal situation may change, and it is important to keep these documents updated.

Our Estate Planning Lawyer in St. Petersburg Can Draft Your Important Documents 

Creating a comprehensive estate plan is a complex task, and you should always work with a St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, we can draft your important documents and ensure that you and your loved ones are protected. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or contact us online to request a consultation and to learn more.




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