A family letter is a key part of a good estate plan. It is much more personal than many of your estate documents. A family letter allows you to share your heart and show appreciation and gratitude to family members. During a time when family members are grieving, it also helps them to complete many practical steps to protect your property. Your letter could include the following:

  • Estate Data – Your letter should explain where your information is located, names of your attorney, tax and financial advisor.
  • Important Documents – You will want to include the location of your important documents. Include the location of your safe deposit box, if you have a fireproof box in your home and any other documents that you may have left with your attorney or other trusted person.
  • Accounts and Passwords – If you have online bank accounts you will want to leave a record of your user ID and Passwords so these accounts are accessible to your successors.
  • Funeral or Memorial Services – Your family will need to decide whether to have a burial with a casket or to use a cremation service and an urn. You may want to pre-arrange these services to accommodate your personal choice.
  • Final Words and Blessings for Family – The best time for this is during your lifetime. You may want to confirm your final words in written form as this will be of great comfort while they grieve for your loss. It is a fitting way to conclude your family letter.


The benefits of an estate plan are many; including peace, provision and protection. A good plan can increase your lifetime security and also achieve your goals for your family and charity. For your freeWill Planning Guide, email legacy@twu.ca.