Your Legal Rights at Work

Things To Say In A Letter Shared With Your Will

by Lewis Hamilton

It's important to know that because a will is a legal document, it must adhere to a specific language. Your attorney will help you to draft up your will, and you may notice that it seems formal — as it should. If you have additional messages that you want to share with your beneficiaries upon your passing, you shouldn't add them to your will. You can, however, write a letter to include with your will. Your attorney can keep both of these documents safe until it's time for your executor to open them and share the contents with your family. If you're leaning toward writing a letter, here are some things to say in it.

Tell The Story Of Certain Assets

Your letter is the perfect way to tell the story about certain assets — especially those that are old or otherwise have an interesting history. When a child or other family member learns that he or she is getting a family heirloom in your will, there's a chance that he or she might not know the whole story about it. Because you'll have passed away, the person may regret not being able to ask you about the item, so a detailed description in the letter that you're sharing with your will can provide the answers.

Share Your Wishes For Your Family

Given that this letter is your final way to "speak" to your family, it can serve as an effective way to share some wishes. These can be wishes that you often shared when you were alive or can be ideas that you haven't previously discussed with your loved ones. There are many ways that you can approach this idea. For example, if you have two children who don't get along well with one another, you might write how one of your last wishes is that they begin to grow closer together.

Explain Your Decisions

While you're under no obligation to talk about why you made certain decisions in regards to your will, it can be nice to explain yourself in the letter should you so wish. For example, you might write about how you decided to give one child a certain asset and another child another asset. The reason behind your decision might not be immediately apparent, so explaining it in the letter can help people to better understand you. Your attorney who is helping you with your will can also offer some suggestions on writing this important letter.

For more information, contact a company like Barrett Twomey Broom Hughes & Hoke LLP.