Ifyouâ€™re a member of the Baby Boomer generation, thereâ€™s a good chance you havenot done even the most basic of estate planning. In fact, only 56 percent ofyou have a will, according to a2011 survey by Rocket Lawyer. So, if you have covered that base,give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back â€¦ but not too heartily. As Smart Money recentlypointed out, most people overlook another crucial element in their estate plan:a letter of final instruction.
Theletter of final instruction is a non-legal document that guides your familythrough important tasks after your death. For example, your family might notknow where you keep important papers like a deed or a marriage or birthcertificate. They may need your passwords to access accounts on your computer.You also may want to list the contact information for people you would wantnotified, like friends that your family members may not know well. Trusts &Estates magazine recently ran a list of items you might wantto include. The idea is not so much to set down demands or to solve possiblesquabbles, because the document is non-legal, but just to supply the answers tothose questions that could otherwise prove troublesome for your family.
Ofcourse, this letter is just a small (and non-legal) part of your estate plan.You still need to cover your legal bases with at least a will, living will,health care proxy and durable powers of attorney.