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732-572-0500
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Letter of Instruction to family in case of death or disability

     How to Prepare Letters of Instruction To Family, Employees, and Executor Regarding Funeral Arrangements, Business Transfer and Post-Death Procedures

 

         Compiled by Kenneth A. Vercammen, Esq. from various sources

 

         We highly recommend all adults have a current Will, a Power of Attorney and a Living Will. In addition, individuals are encouraged to plan ahead and write messages to their family and executor detailing their specific desires regarding funeral and burial. Written instructions to your family and executor containing information and guidance will minimize uncertainty, confusion, and possible oversights following your death.  The information you furnish should ease the settlement of your estate and provide for an orderly winding-up of your affairs.  You need to share what you know with those who ( often suddenly and without warning) must step into your shoes and carry out your final needs.

        

What Should Your Letters of Instructions Cover ?

 

Letter to Your Family

         Typically, this letter would be written to the person who is your executor.  You may also want to address the letter to your children, particularly if they are the primary beneficiaries of your estate or they will be called upon to assist your spouse directly in the settlement of your estate and business affairs.  The letter of instruction is prepared by you and is meant to provide assistance and guidance to your family regarding items not covered in your will.   This letter will not change your Will.  If you wish changes in your Will, speak to your attorney.   Some possible points to cover in the family letter are :

 

1.   Funeral and burial arrangements: Where, by whom, what kind, and at what cost?

2.   Anatomical gifts: Identify the nature and location of any anatomical gift declarations you have made.

3.   Memorials and contributions: Identify what organizations or institutions might be appropriate recipients of memorials or charitable donations made in your memory.

4.   Preparation of obituary: Should your obituary be prepared in advance and be updated periodically? To which newspaper should it be sent?

5.   Notifications of friends, relatives, business associates, and colleagues in charitable or civic groups. Identify those persons to be contracted upon your death, noting any particular requests or messages to be given, and listing their current addresses and phone numbers.

6.   Location of your safe-deposit box and its key.

7.   Location of your will and estate planning documents: Include any trusts, buy sell agreements, or  extraneous writings incorporated in your will.

8.   Medical and hospital coverages and location of the policies.

9.   Social Security and Veterans Administration benefits: Identify current or potential benefits.

10.  Life insurance: Indicate where policies are located and what steps should be taken to collect policy  proceeds.

11.  Location and explanation of title documents and other records relating to your assets. Include deeds,  stocks, bonds, bank accounts and deposits, retirement plans, and vehicle titles.

12.  Identify obligations involving periodic payments, such as your home mortgage, car loans, and other debts, including amount and to whom payable.

13.  Identify your attorney and professional advisers (including your accountant, broker, trust officer, and insurance agent) who you currently use or recommend.

14. Key employees and business friends to keep business operating until sale. The value of an ongoing business is much greater than a closed one!

15.  Passwords for online bank accounts, and other finances. Where are they

16. Passwords for email accounts, plus online social media, such as Facebook.

 

         You should review and update your letters of instruction periodically to be certain they are complete and current.   In most cases, you should personally discuss the contents of the letters with the persons to whom they are addressed, especially so with your spouse and executor to amplify or clarify the instructions given and answer any questions.  In all events, it is advisable to give the letters of instructions once written to the addressees so that they will be aware that the letters call for certain actions promptly after your death. A letter setting forth the above items will be especially helpful if your executor is someone who doesn't live with you and doesn't know the location of all your personal papers and assets. For those individuals with a business, a shareholder's agreement or buy-sell agreement is recommended.

 

                                                  Conclusion

 

         While the preceding list contains possible topics to be covered in your letters to your family and executor, the list is by no means exhaustive. A number of these items may not be applicable in your situation, and probably there are many others that are applicable. The important thing is to spend some time now considering what you should tell those most closely associated with you to facilitate their handling of your affairs upon your death, and then write those matters down as soon as possible. 

         Each of us has our own style of letter writing, especially when we are writing our loved ones or close associates.  In such circumstances a special and personal form of communication is needed.  We are mindful that each such letter should be unique and that there is no best way to compose the letter. For estate planning, speak with an experienced attorney.

 

http://www.njlaws.com/letters_of_instruction.htm

 

  Kenneth A. Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 125 articles in national and New Jersey publications on business and litigation topics.  He has spoken on Wills and Elder law on numerous occasions to the Adult Community Schools in Metuchen, Sayreville, Old Bridge, South Brunswick and Edison/Clara Barton Seniors and Perth Amboy Seniors. He often lectures to trial lawyers of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. 

 

 KENNETH  VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC

ATTORNEY AT LAW

 2053 Woodbridge Ave.

Edison, NJ 08817

(Phone) 732-572-0500

(Fax)  732-572-0030

    website: www.njlaws.com

  LETTER OF LAST INSTRUCTIONS

This list is designed to assist you or your heirs in locating important documents and information needed to settle your estate. You should review this document regularly and update as needed. Compliments of

 KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC

ATTORNEY AT LAW

2053 Woodbridge Ave.

Edison, NJ 08817

732-572-0500

 

 

                  Name: __________________________________________

 

                  Address: ________________________________________

 

                  _______________________________________________

 

To:___________________________________________________

 

I. FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

         A.      Clergy -  Name: ___________________________________

                                Telephone No. _____________________________

                                Address: _________________________________

                                    ______________________________________

 

         B.      Burial -    Yes ___  No ___  Cremation - Yes ___ No ___

 

         C.      Funeral Director -   Name: ____________________________

                                                Telephone No. ______________________

                                                Address: _________________________

                                                _________________________________

 

         D.      I would like to be buried at:

 

                  Name of Cemetery: ________________________________

                  Telephone No. ____________________________________

                  Address: ________________________________________

                  _______________________________________________

Letter of Last Instruction form rev 3/16/15


         E.      In lieu of flowers, send contributions to:

 

                  Name of Charity: __________________________________

                  Address: ________________________________________

                  _______________________________________________

 

         F.      Other: __________________________________________

 

 

II. LOCATION OF IMPORTANT PAPERS

 

         1. Will

a. Date signed: _____________________________________

b. Where located: ________________________________

c. Name of executor: ________________________________

 

2. Durable power of attorney for finances

a. Date signed: _____________________________________

b. Where located: __________________________________

c. Name of attorney-in-fact: __________________________________________

 

3. Living will

a. Date signed: _____________________________________

b. Where located: __________________________________

 

4 Trust [If none write none]

a. Date signed: _______________________________________

b. Where located: ___________________________________

c. Name of trustee: _________________________________________________

 

5. Health insurance

a. Name of carrier: _________________________________________________

b. Carrier’s address/phone number: ___________________________________

c. Policy number: __________________________________________________

 

6. Disability insurance

a. Name of carrier: _________________________________________________

b. Carrier’s address/phone number: ___________________________________

c. Policy number: ___________________________________________________

7.. Life insurance

a. Name of carrier: _________________________________________________

b. Carrier’s address/phone number: ___________________________________

c. Policy number: ___________________________________________________

d. Named beneficiary: ______________________________________________

 

8. Retirement/employee benefits

a. Company name, address, and phone number: _______________________

b. Named beneficiary: _____________________________________________

 

9. Long term care insurance [If none write none]

a. Name of carrier: _________________________________________________

b. Carrier’s address/phone number: ___________________________________

c. Policy number: ___________________________________________________     

 

         -Securities located at: ________________________________

 

         -Deeds located at: _______

 

         Pension Booklet and Summary: ___________________________

 

         -Safe Deposit Box Key located at: _______

                  Bank Name: __________________________________________

                  Branch Address: ______________________________________

 

         -Business Agreements located at: _______

 

         -Income Tax Returns located at: _______

 

 

List of doctors  __________________________

 

III. PROFESSIONALS

 

         A.      Attorney:            Kenneth A. Vercammen

                                             Attorney at Law

                                             2053 Woodbridge Ave.

                                             Edison, NJ 08817

                                             Phone: (732)-572-0500

 

         B.      Accountant: ________________________________________

 

         C.      Financial Planner: ____________________________________

 

         D.      Trust Officer: ______________________________________

 

         E.      Insurance Broker: ____________________________________

 

         F.      clergy: ________________________________

 

         G.       Other: _____________________________________________

 

IV. SUGGESTIONS FOR CHILDREN /GRANDCHILDREN

         A.      College Education (describe):__________________________

                  ________________________________________________

 

         B.      Special Training (describe):____________________________

                  ________________________________________________

 

         C.      Wedding (describe):__________________________________

                  _________________________________________________

 

V. PERSONS TO NOTIFY OF MY DEATH

 

         A.      Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

         B.      Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

         C.      Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

         D.      Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

         E.      Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

         F.      Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

         G.      Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

         H.      Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

         I.       Name:  ____________________ Telephone No. _______________

                  Address:  ___________________________________________                                          

OTHER SUGGESTIONS:  __________________________________________

 

LIST OF MAJOR ASSETS FOR FAMILY

-Personal financial information including credit cards, loans, checking and savings accounts, brokerage accounts, stocks, bonds and U.S. savings bonds, mutual funds, outstanding loans both owing and owed  

 

     Stocks, bonds and other securities.  How Registered. Approximate Amount of Each. (Joint - Survivorship - P.O.D. - Trust - Custodial) If none, write none

 

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

      Real Estate:  Location and General Description - Record Owners -

How and When Acquired , Estimated Value - Mortgages, Approximate Amount of Each:  If none, write none

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

     Insurance policies, pensions, retirement and death benefits: 

(Identification and beneficiary)  If none, write none

 

COMPANY                               AMOUNT OF POLICY                   BENEFICIARY

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

         Bank and Savings & Loan Association Accounts:  Savings - Time Cert. - Checking - other.  How registered (Joint, Survivorship, Trust, Custodial)

 If none, write none

BANK APPROXIMATE AMOUNT  BENEFICIARY

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

      Major Personal Effects:  Including Furs, Jewelry, Art, Cash on Hand and other items of Substantial Value and the Approximate Amount of Each:

 If none, write none

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

 

       Other Investments:  Nature and in What Names(s) Held and the Approximate Amount of Each:

 If none, write none

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

       Safe Deposit Box:  Location and How Registered:  If none, write none

 

______________________________________________________________

 

 

         Liabilities More Than $2,000.00:   If none, write none

 

____________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________

 

         Estimated Gross Estate: 

 

$_________________________________________________________

 

Computer passwords to online accounts are located at: ________________

 

         

kenv
Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year
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Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney, working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went into each of these prior cases.

In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients. I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other way.

Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we are here to help you.

If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always to do what we believe is best for you and your case. Helping you is our job. In fact, it is our only job -- guiding injury victims like you through one of the most difficult times of your lives, with care and concern -- while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation and justice for each of you!

Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and Fax back, so we can determine if we can help you obtain an injury settlement. We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to thousands of injured clients -- that you can feel comfortable and secure in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.

When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you dont protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim.

Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money as possible under the law.

You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you deserve and getting nothing.

Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover from the other side.

I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt. I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.

Reduce the stress of making a claim.

Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.

p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only -- program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no obligation.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.

This means:
YOU DONT OWE ME A LEGAL FEE UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU.

Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500

Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.

Admitted In NJ, US Supreme Court and Federal District Court.

Contact the Law Office of
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
at 732-572-0500
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