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Do I Need to Prepare a Letter of Instruction for My Personal Representative?

Posted by Chris Peterson | Aug 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Do I Need to Prepare a Letter of Instruction for My Personal Representative?

EraseThe majority of people named as personal representatives of a deceased loved one's estate have never acted in such a capacity before. Another complicating factor can be whether you and your personal representative share a very close relationship. If not, your personal representative may not know where to start when the time comes to administer your estate.

One way you can help your personal representative is by preparing a letter of instruction. Though not required by law, a letter of instruction will help your personal representative carry out his or her duties and protect your assets at the same time.

Shortly after you die, your personal representative will need to locate all the assets of your estate. If you have named your spouse to be your personal representative, he or she may have a good idea where your assets are. On the other hand, if your personal representative is an adult child or other person, he or she may only have a vague idea about where to find your assets.

In addition to an inventory of your assets, a letter of instruction may include:

  • Names and addresses of family and friends
  • Names of your banker, attorney, accountant and insurance agent
  • The location of your original will
  • The location of banking and investment account information
  • The location of any existing court orders which may affect your property, such as divorce decrees or separation agreements
  • The location of safe deposit boxes and keys
  • The location of your cemetery plot deed, if any
  • The location of deeds, titles and other evidence of property ownership

Ideally, you should give your letter of instruction to your personal representative during your lifetime. Otherwise, you should consider telling your representative where the letter can be located upon your death.

If you need to make or change your will or need help preparing a letter of instruction for your personal representative , call an experienced estate planning attorney at the Peterson Law Group. Our experienced Conroe, Texas attorneys help clients develop estate plans, including drafting wills and other documents to ensure your wishes are carried out. Call us at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014 or contact us online to arrange an appointment.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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