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Letter of instruction: Don’t leave life without one!
Instructions Image by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images
Simply put, a letter of instruction is a cheat sheet for anyone involved in settling your affairs. Unlike a will, this letter has no legal authority. However, it can provide an easy-to-understand explanation of your overall estate plan to your executor and lay out your wishes to your family for things not covered by the will.
This is the Year to Get Your House in Order!
Helping your clients will in turn, help you. To stand out from the crowd of over 630,000 financial advisors, you have to do something different. By helping them be prepared you will be helping yourself grow. Getting a client’s house in order may not generate gross, but it generates goodwill, and that is what gets you noticed!
Download the Word document and transfer to your own letterhead or add your contact info at the bottom.
The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die
We created this checklist which corresponds with “The 25 Documents” article. You will see that we have included two additional columns: “When Discussed” and “When Completed”, to help you and your clients keep track of their progress.
Estate Planning Documents
This white paper provides the instructions and URL’s to obtain many of the forms for free!
Explanation of Documents
This decision brief points out the key considerations for setting up an estate plan.
Where’s That Directive?
“Most of the time, patients who have advance directives — somewhere — and don’t bring them to the hospital have simply left them at home. But lawyers’ offices and safe deposit boxes are also popular locations. All of which are useless if a person can’t direct his own care, or if family members are at odds. Or they are rummaging through drawers and files looking for the paperwork while the ER staff stands by.”
Horror Stories: Not having a will
Client Conversation Guide
There are roughly 630,000 financial advisors in America and 400,000 insurance agents. Use this conversation guide to help differentiate yourself from the crowd.
All of these documents have been obtained from government sources. Please be aware that laws vary substantially from state to state. Some states, for instance, do not recognize living wills; others require 3+ witnesses that meet a particular legal standard. While we do our best to ensure that they are accurate and updated, we do not guarantee the accuracy or legality of these documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are filled out in accordance with state and/or federal law. As always, we highly recommend you employ legal counsel when completing any legal documents.
HIPAA Privacy Authorization Form: A healthcare professional is prohibited from handing over sensitive information about a patient over the age of 18, even to his or her parents. This release form will help smooth the way during a medical emergency. Click here for the HIPAA form.
Aging Facilitation Form: Use this generic form to ask your clients for guidance on how to assist them if they begin to show signs of cognitive decline. Simply insert your company logo and name where indicated. Download Aging Facilitation Guidance Document (.doc)
State-By-State Advance Directives: This link takes you to the page on AARP’s website that has each state’s directives listed. Simply click on the state you are looking for and download the forms. AARP Advance Directives.
HIPAA Fact sheet
Additional Forms to Consider
As our clients age with consistent regularity, many advisors are having their clients complete this form, so you, the advisor, are given permission to say something when something should be said.
An advance directive supersedes a HIPAA release form. If you don’t have a medical directive, then this is a necessary form. A healthcare professional is prohibited from handing over sensitive information about a patient over the age of 18, even to his or her parents. This release form will help smooth the way during a medical emergency.