Q. I have named my only living relatives, some nieces and nephews, as beneficiaries of my life insurance policy. How can I be sure that my life insurance policy proceeds do not go unclaimed?
A. A letter of instruction, which lets your family know where you keep your policy and other personal records, is a must. In its most general terms, a letter of instruction provides specific information concerning the composition, location and intended disposition of your assets. It should list the names and contact information for all beneficiaries of life insurance policies and bank, brokerage and retirement accounts. Like other estate documents, a letter of instruction should be updated at least annually and kept in a safe place where your executor (or personal representative) and relatives can easily access it. It may be helpful to let your intended beneficiaries know that you plan on leaving each of them a share of your life insurance proceeds.
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