Writing a Living Will With a Gift Explanation Letter

Writing a Living Will With a Gift Explanation Letter

Many times when you are writing and preparing your living will, you will be disposing of certain personal property and heirlooms to your heirs. Based upon their interests and your desires, property can go to specific persons. By definition, that living will can exclude other beneficiaries. But you do not want to offend anyone in preparing your living will so the logical way to proceed is to attach a gift explanation letter when writing that living will. That gift explanation letter might be in the following form:

To my executor/personal representative, family, and friends:
Greetings. I write this letter to let you know some of the reasons for making gifts in my living will. Please understand this is not my will or an extension of it. Nor should it be used for a legal interpretation of my living will. My will executed (Date), is the sole and exclusive expression of my intentions as to the distribution of my estate, and other related matters.
If I have said anything in the past, or write anything in this letter that conflicts with the provisions of my will, the last will I have signed should control and take precedence.
You also have my permission to give a copy of this letter to any beneficiaries, guardians, trustees, executors, or personal representatives.
(State the reason for a particular gift. For example: “I give all my automotive tools to John Parsons, my good friend, because of the many happy hours we spent working on and racing cars together”. )
(State the reason for giving an unequal share to someone. For example: “I would normally not hesitate giving an equal 1/3 share to my three children. However, during my lifetime, I gave Adam $30,000 to start his own carpentry business and therefore, with love and affection, I have given him a 20% interest, to compensate for the others.”)

That way when writing your living will, you will accomplish two purposes: properly dispose of your property at the same time not offend anyone’s feelings.

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