Personalize the letter by addressing it to each of your heirs and beneficiaries. Inform them of any final desires or hopes you have for their future. Make your writing as clear as possible. Avoid utilizing shortcuts and use explicit descriptions. Explain how your estate will be divided up among them. List all property belonging to the estate before giving it to them. Include a copy of the will with this letter.
This is also a good time to let them know what kind of paperwork they can expect from the office when they come into possession of an inheritance gift. For example, if you have a trust, make sure the recipient knows about it. Also, mention whether or not there are any restrictions on how they can spend their gifts.
Finally, be sure to sign the letter and add any last wishes or instructions.
This letter is also called a "letter of instruction". They are similar in that they tell someone what to do with an inheritance, but a letter of instruction does not go through the same legal procedures as a will. If you want your heir(s) to take certain actions after you die, send them this letter.
Heirs may be children, parents, siblings, spouses, partners, in-laws, friends. The list goes on and on.
Put your name, address, and phone number at the start of the letter, followed by the date and the name, address, and phone number of the person or agency in charge of your dead relative's estate. If you have an email address, include it with your note; otherwise, send the email.
In addition to being in order, writing such a letter can also be a meaningful way to express your feelings about your lost loved one. Often times when we lose someone we love, we feel like talking or writing about them helps us deal with our grief. The same is true for those who have died. They want their families to know they are not forgotten and that they are not alone during this difficult time.
Writing letters to the estates of deceased friends and family members has been popular since the early days of newspapers. The letters were often published along with the deceased individual's obituary, and many readers felt comforted by knowing that their thoughts and prayers were being considered by others who had lost someone close to them.
As communication methods changed, so did how these letters were delivered. Once sent via postal service, today they are often emailed as well. It is up to the sender if he or she wishes to do so but most people find them to be comforting documents to have on file years after their death.
Your letter should include the following:
Call the family members by their first names for a more relaxed greeting. If you know the family well, this is a terrific approach to start your letter. Write each person's name after "Dear," beginning with the parents and finishing with the children's names. Include any nicknames that are used.
Start off by expressing your love and affection for all of them. Tell them what you're writing about and why you think it's important they read your letter. Ask if there's anything else you can do to help out or let them know if you find someone else who could use some support from the community.
Don't be afraid to tell them how much they mean to you and your family. They will feel better knowing that you appreciate them.
Now, move on to business. You should include whatever information only they would want to know about, such as wedding plans or job opportunities. However, it's not necessary to send a separate note to each family member; simply including all of them in one letter works just as well.
Finally, close with another expression of love and appreciation. Tell them what a positive influence they are on you and your siblings. Ask if there's anyone else in the family who might benefit from your letter. You can also mention any charities or causes that are important to them.