A Legacy Letter of Instruction is a necessary document that is a labor of love. It provides guidance and reassurance for your family during a difficult time, and everyone should have one.
A Legacy Letter of Instruction is like a compass, giving directions to your family if you are unable to communicate with them. It's not legally enforceable, but it is full of information to let your family to know what to do if you are unable to provide the answers. It's an estate-planning document that conveys informal details that wouldn't be included or perhaps would not be appropriate for a will.
Here are a few things that can be conveyed in your Legacy Letter of Instruction:
Personal messages, life lessons, and blessings are more appropriate for an Ethical Will, but the two documents can be combined if you'd like.
There are other things you can state, such as bequeathing small items that might not be included in a legal/formal will. You should not include items with great sentimental value, since that should be included in your legal will. The Letter of Instruction is a document to accompany a legal will, not something to replace a legal will.
If you would like help with creating a Legacy Letter of Instruction or an Ethical Will for your family, please use my contact form or you can call me at 781-209-6444 to request a consultation.
L. Shay Bradham is a Family History Preservationist specializing in Legacy Letters, Legacy Books, and Ethical Wills.