In our journey through life, we accumulate more than just financial assets. Our legacy encompasses cherished memories, values, and personal wishes. While a Will or Trust is essential for distributing assets, an Instructions to Advocate (your executors, trustees, agents, and guardians) goes beyond finances. It is a powerful tool for preserving your legacy and guiding your loved ones on matters close to your heart. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of creating an Instruction to Advocates and provide a step-by-step guide to help you craft one.
An Instruction to Advocates is a non-legally binding document that accompanies your will or trust. The Instruction to Advocates document offers guidance and specific instructions to your loved ones about personal matters. It serves as an opportunity for you to communicate your desires, values, and preferences in detail, ensuring that your legacy and wishes are honored.
While financial assets are crucial, your legacy encompasses much more. It includes your values, traditions, stories, and sentimental items. By creating an Instruction to Advocates, you can pass on these intangible elements of your legacy and ensure that your loved ones have a clear understanding of your desires. It allows you to communicate your family history, provide guidance on cherished heirlooms, and share your personal philosophies.
When crafting an Instruction to Advocates, consider including the following elements:
a.Important financial asset guidance such as which Financial Advisor and Tax professional to work with. The state of certain investments. Where to find all your assets..
b. Funeral and Burial Wishes: Express your preferences for funeral arrangements, burial or cremation, and any specific ceremonies you wish to be included. This helps alleviate the burden of decision-making during an emotionally challenging time.
c. Digital Assets and Social Media: Provide instructions for accessing and managing your digital assets, including social media accounts, email accounts, and online subscriptions. Specify whether you would like these accounts to be closed, memorialized, or transferred to a designated person.
d. Charitable Contributions: If you have causes close to your heart, mention them in your Instruction to Advocates. Include details about the organizations you support and any specific instructions for charitable contributions you would like to make.
e. Practical Matters: Include important information such as the location of important documents, passwords, and contact details of professionals who can assist your loved ones in settling your affairs.
F. Personal History and Stories: Share anecdotes, experiences, and family traditions that are significant to you. These stories help your loved ones connect with their roots and understand their family heritage
As life evolves, so do your wishes and circumstances. It is essential to review and update your Instruction to Advocates periodically. Consider revisiting it after significant life events like new assets, births, marriages, divorces, or the loss of a loved one. Regular updates ensure that your instructions remain relevant and reflect your current desires.
MyAdvocate provides the core area to provide these instructions, however, you can write your own instructions, print and sign them and then store that document with your estate plan.
Creating an Instruction to Advocates is a powerful way to preserve your legacy beyond finances. By providing guidance and detailed instructions to your loved ones, you ensure that your values, wishes, and personal history are respected and cherished. Take the time to craft this essential document, and regularly revisit and update it to ensure your legacy endures for generations to come.
This post was written by MyAdvocate's team of estate planning attorneys.