American actor Lee Marvin once said, “As soon as people see my face on a movie screen, 他们知道两件事:第一, 我不会得到那个女孩的, 和第二, I'll get a cheap funeral before the picture is over.”1
Most people don’t spend too much time thinking about their own funeral, and yet many of us have a vision about our memorial service or the handling of our remains. A letter of instructions can help you accomplish that goal.
A letter of instructions is not a legal document; it’s a letter written by you that provides additional and more-personal information regarding your estate. It can be addressed to whomever you choose, 但通常, letters of instructions are directed to the executor, 家庭成员, 或受益人.
Think of a letter of instructions as a “cheat sheet” to your estate. Here are a few ideas and concepts that may be included:
- The location of important legal documents, 如你所愿, 保险政策, 标题到汽车, 财产的行为, 等.
- 188网址注册资产清单, including savings and checking accounts, 股票, 债券, 和退休账户. Be sure to include account numbers, PINs, and passwords where applicable.
- A list of pensions or profit-sharing plans, including the location of their explanatory booklets.
- The location of your latest tax return and Social Security statements.
- The location of any safe deposit boxes and their keys.
A letter of instructions is also a good place to leave burial or cremation wishes. You should consider giving the location of your cemetery plot deed, if you have one. You may even wish to specify which hymns or speakers you would like included in your memorial service. Although a letter of instructions is not legally binding, your heirs will probably be glad to know how you would like to be remembered. It also may be helpful to leave a list of contact information for people who should be notified in the event of your death.
There is no “best way” to write a letter of instructions. It can be written in your style and reflect your personality, or it can be written to simply convey information. You should decide what type of letter best fits your estate strategy.
1. Brainyquote.com, 2019
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