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Trust Glossary

Letter of Instructions - Document that provides specific, detailed, personal instructions regarding any of the following that its maker considers relevant:
  • List of professional advisors
  • List of relatives
  • Preferences and arrangements regarding organ donation, autopsy, funeral, and burial
  • Location of safe deposit box and any other storage facility
  • List of major current assets
  • List of major current debts and other liabilities
  • Location of recent tax returns
  • Location of bills received, records of payment, and cancelled checks
  • List of legal documents
  • Description of any other relevant circumstances
  • Desired disposition of tangible personal property to the extent not provided in a will or living trust.
Regarding tangible personal property, many states have statutes providing for the disposition at death of some types or all of an individual’s tangible personal property (generally not including property used in a trade or business) by a writing, specifying the item and its intended beneficiary and signed and dated by its maker, that does not have to be executed with the formality required of a will. In some states, these informal writings are binding as regards the disposition of specified property so long as it is not specifically given in one’s will and the will refers to the writing. In other states, these writings are discretionary with one’s personal representative.


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The content in this glossary is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or organization, because the facts and circumstances surrounding each situation differ. Please consult your attorney, tax advisor or other professional advisor for advice on your particular situation.






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