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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Muppeteer Jim Henson left two letters to be opened after his death

Jim Henson, known to most of us as the creator of the Muppets, wrote two letters during his lifetime that were intended to be opened after his death. One was to his children, and the other to his friends and family. If you'd like to see them, click here to be taken to a website called www.lettersofnote.com .

Letters of this kind may certainly be left to your family members to pass on personal messages, but they may also be written to your executor to pass on instructions. This is not a replacement for a will, of course, but might supplement a will in the sense that you can express your own ideas in your own words for your executor to see. You could, for example, ask your executor to involve your children in the family business, or to continue to send the kids on vacations even though their inheritance is in trust. You could explain your reasons for making certain arrangements or gifts in your will or, as Mr. Henson did, expound on your philosophy of life.

When this type of letter is prepared for an executor, it is normally referred to as a "Memorandum to Trustee". If you are interested in writing one, check with your lawyer to make sure it doesn't contradict or confuse your will.

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