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The purpose of a letter of instruction

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2022 | Estate Administration

A letter of instruction makes it easier for family and friends to manage a will and estate. Anyone who creates this document can mention any detail that relates to a decedent’s remaining estate in the letter. The main purpose is to improve the speed and efficiency of estate planning in New Jersey.

Supplementing a will

A letter of instruction is a document that provides additional information on how to carry out a will. This letter is usually addressed to the will’s executor, administrator or beneficiary. The letter often includes a detailed explanation of the testator’s goals and expectations about administering the estate.

A letter of instruction is a lesser-known form of estate planning that is made to supplement a will. The letter is allowed in court, but it’s not considered a legal document, so it cannot be used to enforce action against the executor or an heir. Even so, it can be used to reduce family feuds over wills. The letter becomes valid and credible with the testator’s signature and the presence of two or more witnesses.

The letter’s contents

This document is not required to be written or formatted professionally. Anyone can write it without legal expertise and modify the letter’s contents over the years. The document often includes personalized wishes and messages to family members, friends and business associates. Where a will is more formal and is legally binding, letters of instruction tend to be more personal.

A letter of instruction adds more information on how an executor or heir should administer a will after the testator dies. The document mainly includes detailed instructions on how to administer the decedent’s estate. It is not a legal document and is not recommended for use in court, but it is used to reduce the complications of the estate administration process.