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Do you need a Letter of Intent for your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2023 | Estate Planning

When it comes to estate planning, many individuals focus on wills, trusts and other legal documents. However, one often overlooked but valuable addition to your estate plan is a “Letter of Intent.” 

However, you may wonder if this Letter of Intent is necessary. Does it offer any tangible benefits? Learn more here. 

What is a Letter of Intent?

A Letter of Intent, sometimes called a “Legacy Letter” or “Ethical Will,” is a personal document that tells your loved ones and beneficiaries about your wishes, values and intentions. Unlike legally binding documents, such as wills or trusts, a Letter of Intent is non-binding. Instead, it serves as a heartfelt complement to your estate plan.

Expressing your wishes

One of the primary purposes of a Letter of Intent is to express your desires and intentions that may not be fully covered in your legal documents. This can include personal messages, advice and specific requests for how you want your assets distributed or your affairs handled after your passing.

Clarifying your intentions

A Letter of Intent can provide clarity in complex family situations or when distributing unique assets. For example, if you have a valuable art collection or a beloved pet, you can use the letter to explain your wishes regarding their care and disposition.

Emotional support

In times of grief and loss, a Letter of Intent can offer emotional support to your loved ones. Your words of love, encouragement and wisdom can provide comfort and a sense of connection during a difficult time.

While a Letter of Intent is not legally binding, adding one to your estate plan can be beneficial. It will provide personal guidance and clarity to your heirs and beneficiaries.