ContractsCounsel Logo
Home Types of Contracts Letter of Instruction

Letter of Instruction

Jump to Section

A Letter of Instruction is a document that guides a designated individual or entity on how to carry out specific actions or wishes after the author's demise. In addition, it is not a legally binding document but is often used in conjunction with a will or trust. Furthermore, a letter of instruction acts as a tool that can help guarantee that a person's last wishes are carried out as planned. Now let us look deep into various aspects of a Letter of Instruction.

Common Elements of a Letter of Instruction

A Letter of Instruction (LOI) is a document that can be tailored to fit the author's specific needs. The following are some of the common elements that can be included:

  • Introduction: The author should begin by introducing themselves and explaining the letter's purpose.
  • Funeral and Burial Instructions: The author can provide specific instructions for their preferred type of funeral service and burial location.
  • Financial Accounts and Assets: The author can provide details regarding their financial accounts and assets, including bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and insurance policies.
  • Digital Assets: The author can guide how to manage their digital assets, such as social media accounts, email accounts, and online storage accounts.
  • Personal Property: The author can provide directions on distributing personal belongings, such as jewelry, family heirlooms, and sentimental items.
  • Guardianship: The author can provide instructions for caring for minor children, including designating guardians.
  • Health Care Instructions: The author can guide decisions like end-of-life care and life-sustaining treatment.
  • Contact Information: The author should include contact information for their appointed executor, attorney, or other important individuals.
  • Signature and Date: The author should sign and date the letter of instruction.

Steps for Drafting a Letter of Instruction

A letter of instruction outlines the author's desires for their estate, funeral arrangements, and other pertinent instructions. Below are some effective steps to draft a letter of instruction.

  1. Determining the Contents: The first step in composing a letter of instructions is determining its contents. The letter can cover a wide range of topics, such as funeral arrangements, instructions for the distribution of assets, information on financial assets, such as bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies, login information and passwords for online accounts, and contact information for professional advisors, such as attorneys and accountants
  2. Stating the Introduction: The introduction should be brief and straightforward. It should state the letter's purpose and provide any necessary background information. For instance, you may want to explain that the letter is intended to guide your loved ones after your death or incapacitation.
  3. Presenting Specific Instructions: The bulk of the letter should contain precise instructions regarding managing and distributing your assets. These instructions should be clear and concise, avoiding legal jargon or technical terms your loved ones may not understand. In this letter section, you may include specific instructions for your funeral arrangements or how you want your assets to be distributed to specific individuals or organizations.
  4. Providing Information on Financial Assets: It is important to include details about your financial assets in the letter of instructions. This information should encompass your bank accounts, investments, and other financial assets. You should also include the contact information of any financial advisors or accountants who can assist your loved ones in managing these assets.
  5. Incorporating Information on Insurance Policies: If you have any insurance policies, you should include information on these policies in the letter of instructions. This information should include the policy numbers, the insurance companies' names, and contact information.
  6. Adding Information on Online Accounts: In today's digital era, providing information on your online accounts in the letter of instructions is vital. This information should include your usernames and passwords for any online accounts, such as email accounts, social media accounts, and online banking accounts.
  7. Supplying Contact Information for Professional Advisors: You should provide contact information for any professional advisors you have worked with, such as attorneys and accountants. This information will enable your loved ones to contact these professionals if they require assistance managing your assets.
Meet some lawyers on our platform

Valerie L.

77 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Linda W.

10 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Kelvin R.

24 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Damien B.

16 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Types of Letters of Instruction

Letters of instruction (LOIs) are widely used in various fields, such as law, finance, and business. Also, depending on the purpose, different kinds of letters of instruction serve different functions. Below are the different types of LOIs and their significant features.

  • Legal Letter of Instructions: A legal letter of instruction is a document that provides direction to a legal representative or attorney regarding how assets should be distributed after the writer's death. This LOI is commonly utilized in estate planning and typically outlines how assets like property, investments, and money should be distributed. It may also include details about appointing guardians for minor children, funeral arrangements, and other relevant matters.
  • Financial Letter of Instructions: A financial letter of instruction is a document that instructs financial institutions or financial advisors on managing assets during the writer's lifetime. This type of letter of instruction may include information on investment strategies, managing financial accounts, and tax planning. This instruction is particularly useful for individuals who want to ensure their financial affairs are managed according to their preferences.
  • Business Letter of Instructions: A business letter of instruction is a document that gives instructions to employees or contractors regarding a specific task or project. This type of letter of instruction may include information on project timelines, deliverables, and other pertinent details. A business LOI helps ensure that everyone involved in a project is working towards the same goals and is on the same page.
  • Military Letter of Instructions: A military letter of instruction is a document that provides instructions to military personnel regarding a specific mission or operation. This type of letter of instruction may include information on mission objectives, rules of engagement, and other relevant details. A military LOI is especially useful in ensuring all team members know their roles and responsibilities.
  • Academic Letter of Instructions: An academic letter of instruction is a document that provides instructions to students or researchers regarding a specific project or assignment. This type of LOI may include information on research objectives, data collection methods, and other relevant details. An academic LOI helps ensure that students or researchers know the expectations and requirements for a particular project.

Key Terms for the Letter of Instruction

  • Estate Planning: The process of arranging for handling and distributing a person's assets and liabilities after their demise.
  • Beneficiary: A person or entity designated to receive assets or benefits from a will, trust, or other legal instrument.
  • Last Will and Testament: A legal document that provides instructions for distributing a person's assets after death.
  • Trust: A legal arrangement in which a trustee holds and manages assets to benefit one or more beneficiaries.
  • Fiduciary: A person or entity that holds a rank of trust and confidence, such as a trustee or executor, and has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of another.
  • Power of Attorney: A legal document that authorizes a person to act on behalf of another person in certain specified matters.

Final Thoughts on the Letter of Instruction

A Letter of Instruction is useful for guiding loved ones, caregivers, or other designated people or entities about important matters. It can provide instructions for burial and funeral arrangements, financial accounts and assets, digital assets, personal property, guardianship, and health care decisions.

If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, Click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.


ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.


How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Letter of Instruction Lawyers

Deanna M. on ContractsCounsel
View Deanna
5.0 (2)
Member Since:
July 28, 2023

Deanna M.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Raleigh, North Carolina
6 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MN, NC
Ave Maria School of Law

I have had the opportunity to experience the legal industry in a private setting and public sector, representing individuals, companies of all sizes, as well as the Government. As a strong leader, I take pride in continuously tackling new challenges and learning as much as possible, always finding answers and delivering results to my clients. I received my JD from Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida and went on to pass the Uniform Bar Exam. I am currently licensed in Minnesota and North Carolina. I have experience in real estate law, estate planning, contract law, family law, criminal law, and more.

Jesse A. on ContractsCounsel
View Jesse
5.0 (4)
Member Since:
August 1, 2023

Jesse A.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Kingsford, Michigan
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MI, WI
University of Illinois-Chicago

General practice attorney with experience in civil litigation, family law, criminal law, estate planning, business formation, real estate and business transactions.

James N. on ContractsCounsel
View James
Member Since:
July 27, 2023

James N.

Owner-Attorney
Free Consultation
Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CO, NM
University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law

I'm a Chicago native and Kansas City transplant that has made regulatory compliance and civil administrative litigation for heavily regulated industries my niche for the past decade.

Joseph B. on ContractsCounsel
View Joseph
Member Since:
July 28, 2023

Joseph B.

Solo Practitioner
Free Consultation
Lebanon, IN
1 Yr Experience
Licensed in IN
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

I am an attorney licensed in Indiana. I currently work primarily on civil litigation, landlord/tenant matters, and adoption cases. I have over 10 years of labor relations experience, including negotiations, labor contract enforcement, and arbitration experience. I also work with several non-profit groups representing LGBTQ+ groups and indigent clients in housing matters.

Diamond R. on ContractsCounsel
View Diamond
Member Since:
July 30, 2023

Diamond R.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Houston, Texas
1 Yr Experience
Licensed in DC, NY, WA
Wayne State University

July 29, 2023 My name is Diamond Simpson Roberts, ESQ, MSPH and I am convinced that I can be a value added asset to most any company. As the first in my family to graduate a four-year university, I graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 2000 but could not afford a bar prep course upon completion. After over 20 years, I sat for the July 2022 UBE, successfully passed and am currently licensed in three states! This is an example of my self-motivation, internal drive and passion. I offer over 28 years of diverse experience in healthcare, strategy, sales/marketing, legal/policy and business savvy. I have many years building, leveraging, and sustaining long term relations to drive revenue as an entrepreneur and for corporations. My analytical strengths provide me with an innate ability to think through tough situations/topics while viewing both vantage points (which is excellent for law and life). I have been appointed to serve on numerous committees due to my heightened ability to identify client issues and priorities and provide solutions based upon relevant products, services and needs. I have led teams with and without authority; specifically, I have managed teams for an Adult Foster Care Facility called Etonne Cares, during my post-graduate fellowship with the largest Catholic Healthcare System in the U.S. and during my two-year executive order appointment with the Federal Government (Presidential Management Fellowship). Most importantly, I am a collaborative team player who knows how to improvise, overcome and adapt! I offer numerous years of being a pharmaceutical trainer and being an adjunct using the online platform. I welcome the opportunity to continue in the interview so that I may further highlight the skills I can (and will) contribute to my success in the role. Respectfully, Diamond Simpson Roberts, ESQ, MSPH DQSSIMPSON@GMAIL.COM M: 313-942-6747

Esra A. on ContractsCounsel
View Esra
Member Since:
July 30, 2023

Esra A.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
University of Georgia School of Law (LLM)

I worked at immigration law firms before and recently started my own law firm. My experience includes investor visas, family immigration (spouse, parents, children), change of status, and citizenship applications.

Benjamin M. on ContractsCounsel
View Benjamin
Member Since:
August 1, 2023

Benjamin M.

IP Attorney
Free Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
Michigan State University

To begin his legal career, Ben was a legal fellow with Georgia Lawyers for the Arts. Ben also assisted Michigan State University in protecting its registered intellectual property as lead intellectual property (IP) intern for Michigan State University's Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP Center). During this time, Ben organized and moderated a panel discussion with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents for A-CAPP's annual Brand Protection Strategy Summit. Ben was selected to join a team of law student interns in Lovran, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Croatia, to handle matters involving cybercrime, international copyright, the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy and the General Data Protection Regulation. Before studying law, Ben worked for Core Security and Meridian Link as a software QA engineer. As a member of Million Dollar Minds Entertainment (Est. 2006) Ben produced countless commercial music recordings, engineered hundreds of songs, and served as executive producer seven studio albums. Ben enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is an alumnus of The South Carolina State University and Michigan State University College of Law.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

View Trustpilot Review

How It Works

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

Estate Planning lawyers by top cities
See All Estate Planning Lawyers
Letter of Instruction lawyers by city
See All Letter of Instruction Lawyers

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

View Trustpilot Review

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

View Trustpilot Review

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

View Trustpilot Review

How It Works

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city