When people think about an estate plan, they tend to focus on the will. While this is understandable, it’s imperative that you consider other items as you work to create the plan. Not only can getting all this information together help you as you create the terms of the plan, it can also assist you when you write out your letter of instruction.
Your letter of instruction is a document that’s not officially included in the estate plan, but it provides important information for your loved ones that they can use immediately when you pass away. Since it isn’t part of the estate plan, you can leave it in a safe place at your home.
To get your process started, write out an inventory of the assets and debts you have. Make note of any special items that you have in the home that might not be worth much but that your family members may fight over. Things of value may be placed in trusts, and items that are more sentimental could be put in the will.
You also need to account for digital assets that you have. These can include social media accounts and online investments, but think about other similar ones like your music download collection. The information for these can be placed in the letter of instruction if you want your loved ones to have access to them.
Add in the information for any memberships you have. Your loved ones may opt to let these organizations know of your death, and they might be able to get some support from them.
Getting your estate plan and related documents set up can help you ensure that your loved ones don’t have more trouble than they need to when you pass away. Just remember to update everything as necessary.