Naming an executor for your estate can be a difficult task. Many people think they should make their spouse or child the executor. However, giving this task to a loved one can add unneeded stress to an already challenging situation. It’s often better to name someone with legal know-how as the estate planner.If you hate planning for your passing, it can be hard for you to sit down to write this letter. However, having an official document stating who you want to be your executor ensures the fulfillment of your last wishes.It’s important for this to be a well-written letter. Without a well-written document, anyone can contest the carrying out of your will. However, you can use the letter of appointment for an estate templates to figure out the elements needed to create a successful document of your own.
Letter of Appointment for an Estate Template
George Samson chose to name his cousin Marjorie Samson as the executor of his estate because she is a paralegal, and therefore, she is familiar with the legal process. He wrote the letter below to his lawyer, Ferdinand Fischer, to officially appoint Marjorie. George doesn’t like estate planning, but he knows having an executor in place will make the process easier for his wife and children. He also realizes an official letter will reduce the chances that the court has to get involved after his death. Notice how he keeps the letter to the point.
As we discussed in our last meeting on March 12, 2017, I would like to appoint Marjorie Samson, my paternal cousin, as the executor of my will. I understand that she will follow the wishes laid out in my last will and testament to the best of her ability. As my executor, she will take care of the funeral plans, oversee the estate, take care of my beneficiaries, get the paperwork organized, and manage the estate sale. She will also take on any other necessary tasks at your direction.
When the time is right, you are to give Marjorie my will and help her manage my estate. Until such a time as an executor is necessary, please keep this letter, signed and dated by both Marjorie and myself, with the rest of my official documents.
Thank you for helping me sort out the appointment of an executor.
How To Write a Letter of Appointment for an Estate
The letter of appointment for an estate informs your lawyer, your family, and any business partners whom you want to take care of your estate in the case of your death. Naming an executor can be a sensitive subject, especially if you have multiple people who expect to have this duty. It’s best to use a certain formality when drafting this notice to ensure all parties understand its finality. Because of the legal implications of this correspondence, you may want to talk with your lawyer while drafting your own letter to ensure it has all of the necessary details.
Start the letter off by addressing it to your lawyer. If you are not working with a lawyer, you can write the letter directly to the person you are appointing as your executor. After that, you should quickly go into the details of the appointment. Use a definitive statement, such as “I appoint so-and-so to be my executor.” This type of statement leaves no room for misinterpretation. It’s best if you put this declaration in the first sentence of the letter, as done in the letter of appointment for an estate template.
If applicable, you should include the date associated with your choice. You can also go over what you expect your executor to do. Having the basic duties laid out in the letter can help your family members and friends better understand the role of the executor over your estate.
Finally, end your letter by letting the audience know what to do with the letter. It’s best to file away the letter someplace safe. In fact, you may want to keep a copy in your personal filing cabinet.
What To Avoid in Your Letter of Appointment for an Estate
The biggest mistake you can make with your letter of appointment for an estate is not writing it. Without this letter, your family and friends may not know who should be taking care of your estate after you pass away. While a well-written letter is best, any attempt at appointing an executor is better than nothing at all.
Because estate planning is personal, you may want to explain your choice to whoever is reading your letter. However, you don’t have to explain why you chose someone as your executor. Instead of telling the audience why you chose the executor, simply state whom you appoint. A rambling letter won’t help your lawyer or executor. If you really want to explain your choice, write a different letter to your spouse and include that note with your will.
If you want to make the process of taking care of your estate as easy as possible, you need to avoid being ambiguous. Make a clear statement of your intentions for the best results.
How To Follow Up After Sending Your Letter of Appointment for an Estate
Before you send in your letter of appointment for an estate, it may be best to talk with the person you are planning on appointing. However, you must follow up with him or her after sending the letter. Use this time to make sure the person is comfortable acting as your executor. You could even introduce your appointee to your lawyer to help them build a working relationship.
Not only should you follow up with your appointee, but you also need to follow up with your lawyer or whomever you addressed the letter to. Make sure he or she got the letter and filed it away appropriately.
Though it may not be necessary, you may also want to talk with your spouse, grown children, business partners, or anyone else important to you. Let those close to you know whom you appointed now to save them from confusion later.
Top 5 Letter of Appointment for an Estate Writing Takeaways
1. Make a clear statement
Early in your letter, you should make a definitive statement about whom you are appointing for your estate. Using a phrase, like “I appoint Marjorie Samson,” makes it clear to any reader whom you want to be your executor.
2. Keep your letter appropriate for legal proceedings
No matter how you feel about estate planning, this letter can play a legal role after you’re gone. Keep the language formal to maximize its efficiency.
3. Be clear about what should happen next
If you’re addressing the letter to a lawyer, chances are he or she knows what to do with a letter of appointment for an estate. However, it’s still a good idea to clarify. Make a point to say you want your lawyer to file away the letter upon receipt.
4. Briefly discuss what you expect
You don’t have to go into great detail about the role of an executor, but it’s okay to go over the basics of what you expect. For example, you can mention the main jobs you want the executor to take care of to help eliminate any future questions.
5. Leave out an explanation
You probably thought long and hard about who should be your executor, but the appointment letter is not the place to rehash your reasoning. If you really feel the need to explain your choice, do it in a different letter.