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Final Instructions to Loved Ones

An often overlooked matter in Estate Planning is leaving instructions to loved ones as to final arrangements, the funeral, burial, and related matters.  This is likely the case because we get focused on stricly legal and financial matters – which is a natural thing to do.  It’s also because this is work that the lawyer can’t really do.  It must come from you.

We think this is best accomplished by writing a letter or memo to your loved ones outlining your wishes.  A relatively easy way is to use a sample and just fill in the blanks.  Perhaps a more meaningful way is to write the letter yourself, using the sample as a reminder of what to include.  It’s important to be certain and let your family know that if your wishes, as expressed, don’t make sense because things have changed, that they are free to take that into account.

Don’t use the letter to vent frustrations or disapproval.  Think of it simply as a final gift to your family.

Regardless of whether death is sudden and unexpected, or after a lengthy illness, the days before the funeral are hectic, and we all tend to go on autopilot.  A letter setting forth your wishes can be most helpful and comforting.

Don’t wait.  Take a half hour and deal with this now.  You’ll never be sorry, and your family will be most appreciative

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