What’s a Letter of Intent?

April 26, 2021

Now that you’ve created an estate plan, which includes your living will and last will and testament, perhaps you’d like to convey additional information to your family in a less formal manner. 

A Letter of Intent, also known as a Letter of Instruction, is a document you create to help an executor achieve your final wishes. This document can address your preferences on medical care, funeral plans, distribution of assets, or anything else you think is important and should be included. You can also share life lessons you’d like passed to your beneficiaries. While this document is not legally binding, your instructions can provide guidance and peace of mind to loved ones during their time of need. You can upload the Letter of Intent to your Vault’s Legal folder

Why use a Letter of Intent?

A Letter of Intent is meant as a reference guide to an executor and loved ones of your will. With no legal restrictions in place you can freely state your truth, add messages to family members, and include items and comments that aren’t applicable to a will or advance directive.

What to include in your letter?

Here’s a sample list of things to add to your instructional document. These items could help the executor during probate and distribution of your assets. Don’t forget to review our Documents and Planning Checklist.

  • Legal items, such as: 
    • Social Security Number (SSN)
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate
    • Divorce documents
    • Mortgage – note holder contact information
    • Insurance policy number and contact details
    • Pension plan, contact information
    • Retirement investment plans like an IRA, 401(k), or 403(b)
  • Contact details to your attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent
  • Location of a safe deposit box
  • Access to all your account passwords
  • Detailed outline of all your assets
  • Catalog of heirlooms, keepsakes, and collections
  • Legacy stories of emotional and sentimental significance 
  • How to manage a pet upon your passing 
  • Instructions on how to access accounts and recurring subscriptions
  • How to gain access to your devices, including laptop and cell phone
  • End of life ceremony plans, like a funeral service, burial or cremation

In addition to adding an estate plan and applicable documents to your HereToday vaults, family members will find comfort in reading your Letter of Intent too. The Letter of Intent is a complementary tool to a well-rounded estate plan. 


Disclaimer. HereToday is not a legal service. This content should not be taken as legal advice. Before drafting any legal document, please consult an attorney.

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