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What is a letter of instruction?

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A letter of instruction is a document that provides information about a person's wishes upon death. The letter details instructions for survivors in regard to personal and financial matters.

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Although it is advisable for individuals to prepare a will and living will and designate power of attorney with a legal professional, a letter of instruction can be prepared by the individual personally. The letter of instruction may offer instructions on how to locate important documents, such as birth certificates and birth records. It may also provide a summary of financial assets and investments. Letters of instruction often include information about debts, safety deposit boxes and bank accounts.

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