New York residents often approach lawyers to draft trusts, wills and powers of attorney, but there is one estate planning document that they must write themselves. Letters of final wishes do not have any impact on how assets are distributed and they carry little weight in a courtroom, but they can provide family members and loved ones with much-needed clarity and comfort during a time of great stress.
Testators write letters of final wishes to provide their family members, friends and trusted individuals with needed information that are usually not found in a will. These letters may contain the login details and passwords for online accounts, and they could also let relatives know where to find bank statements, tax returns, and other important financial documents. Letters of final wishes also allow testators to convey their personal wishes concerning matters such as their funeral arrangements or the ongoing care of their pets.