Adding an Explanatory Letter to Your Estate Plan

Adding an Explanatory Letter to Your Estate Plan

Through a last will and testament, you can clearly outline how you would like to distribute your assets and property to your family members and friends. However, you may find that as you develop your will, the need arises to clarify why you made certain decisions regarding who received what or why there were disparities in bequests.

The best way to accomplish this is not to include these explanations or final remarks in your will itself, but rather by adding an explanatory letter attached to your will. Anything you put in this letter will not be legally binding. But in the event any part of your will is ambiguous, it could be used to help clarify your intentions.

The following are some examples of items you could include in your explanatory letter:

  • Explanations of gifts: If you anticipate questions about why you left certain possessions to one person rather than another, you may use this letter to explain your reasoning.
  • Explanations of gift disparities: If you left more money to one beneficiaries compared to another, for example, the letter can explain why.
  • Suggestions for how to use shared gifts: If you leave a certain item to a group of people, you may wish to leave behind suggestions for how they should use that gift. For example, if you leave behind a vacation property to all your children, you could recommend an arrangement for who gets to use it at which times of year and how they might split the responsibility of managing the property.
  • Final remarks: You may wish to leave behind some final words for your loved ones. This could be particularly important if you anticipate any conflict among your family members and friends after your passing.

For further advice on what to include in an explanatory letter, work with an experienced Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.