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Helping Your Executor Get Started

Let’s say you’ve gone through the trouble of creating an estate plan, made the hard choices about inheritances, and have chosen the right people to serve in important positions. First, congratulations on all your hard work. Second, you’ve got a little more work ahead of you. When it comes to administering an estate, executors can often spend a lot of wasted time in the early stages if they don’t have the proper assistance. Here are some easy tips you can use to help your executor get started quickly and easily.

Tip 1: Assemble your documents.

Your executor will need access to all of your important estate planning documents such as your will, life insurance policies, and anything else you’ve created. As long as you secure these in a safe location and let your executor know where they are, your executor will not have to waste a lot of time searching for them after you die.

Tip 2: Write a letter of instruction.

A letter of instruction is simply a letter you write your executor that includes all the nitty-gritty details that the executor would otherwise have to find out on his or her own. These letters are not legally binding and cannot be used to direct your estate, but they are useful to help your executor find specific information. Letters of instruction typically contain information such as your credit card account numbers, financial pin numbers, as well as online accounts and login information. These letters can also include instructions about personal items, the location of safety deposit boxes, contact information for friends and family, and even funeral instructions.

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