What is a Letter of Instruction?

A letter of instruction is one of the important business documents that contain well-defined information about a specific matter as it thoroughly explains how to carry out a specific action or task. Also known as a letter of intent, it is used to outline a person’s preferences for a certain thing, for example, in business, finance, education, law, medical care, project management, real estate, or funeral services. This document varies in formality and uses as it may include specific information on how a person prefers to give his or her stockbroker the authority to sell his or her shares in a company or for other legal purposes. 

Many individuals and professionals use it to convey additional instructions concerning their assets, projects, and tasks. An academic professional or a teacher prepares a letter of instruction for the students to help them fully understand the flow of a lesson and the performance of an activity. A project manager might write a letter of instruction for the employees that contains fundamental steps to accomplish a specific project or task. So, this type of letter allows you to deliver your beliefs, ideals, and values.

Types of Letters of Instruction

There are many different types of letters of instruction that you may use for certain circumstances or unexpected situations. Familiarize yourself with these letters of instruction so that you know what to write for a specific matter. 

Business Letter of Instruction: CEOs, executive directors, operations managers, project managers, HR managers, and other key people in business firms, companies, corporate firms, and private institutions write a business letter of instruction to provide their employees and staff with detailed instructions on how they should carry out or manage an important project. This type of letter of instruction is a useful tool to maintain effective communication between the management and the entire organization. It is an informative document that lets employees and peers understand exactly what the managers and supervisors want to complete and execute a certain project or task. Usually, managers and supervisors start their business letters of instruction by telling the employees what they want them to know and what is coming, and then, provide them with the work instruction and a brief summary of the key points they want to convey. Beneficiary Letter of Instruction: This type of letter of instruction is also known as a letter of instruction for heirs or a deceased person’s letter of instruction. It outlines your last wishes when you leave your loved ones due to sudden death. Include complete information to help your family or loved ones manage your financial information, funeral plans, and other properties. Create a list of your assets or everything you own including savings and checking accounts, homes, rental properties, commercial spaces, investment and retirement accounts, personal belongings, vehicles, and other valuable possessions. Use a financial review checklist as you list your debts such as car loans, credit card balances, car loans, mortgages, and personal loan balances. Also include details regarding other recurring monthly bills and expenses like home services and utilities. If you have life insurance, add the information for the insurance policy in this letter such as the name of the insurance company, policy details, the amount the insurance is for, and the name of the beneficiary. Make sure that you include the names and contact information of your intended beneficiaries or heirs so that they are notified of your passing and receive what you would like them to have. Letter of Instruction to Lawyer: Similar to the Power of Attorney, this type of letter of instruction gives another authority or party order to execute specific instructions when it comes to business investments, finances, and company shares or stocks. Also referred to as a letter of authorization, it explains detailed information about the particulars of the sender and the recipient, the recipient’s position, and the major instructions. The document must be printed and the party sending the document must sign it after filling up the letter of instruction form. An authorized person must have an authority like a managing director to be the representative of the sender who will sign the document if the sender is a company or an organization. The recipient should send a letter of agreement to show their acceptance to implement the instructions stated in the letter of instruction. Medical Care Letter of Instruction: Prepare a medical care letter of instruction form or a letter of instruction to your health care agent when it comes to making critical health care decisions. Provide specific instructions for your healthcare providers and family members concerning the termination of life support treatment and other critical or emergency situations. Explain the instructions with proper guidelines regarding your wishes on the healthcare topics of your medical records, choice of physicians, medical tests, medications, quality of life, and your preferences about healthcare facilities, long-term medical care, hospice care, and organ donation, especially when you are unable to act on your behalf, give direction, or consent. Shipper’s Letter of Instruction: It is a document that contains shipping instructions to the freight forwarder to ensure accurate and proper movement of the products across borders. It often includes billing terms regarding the freight and other charges. Include the necessary information to prevent a delay in the processing of the form. Specify the name and address of the U.S. Exporter (U.S. Principal Party in Interest), the name of the trucking company or inland carrier, the 9-digit numerical code of the USPPI Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number (Exporter EIN No. or Tax ID No.), and the parties to the transaction. Indicate the name and address of the ultimate consignee, the business function of the ultimate consignee (direct consumer, government entity, reseller, or other), the name and address of the intermediate consignee, the name and address of the duly authorized forwarder acting as agent for either the USPPI or FPPI, the country of the ultimate destination of the merchandise, the shipper’s reference number, and shipment date. Check “Yes” or “No” if the shipment contains hazardous material. Provide the shipment method, release type, container size, terms of shipping, gross weight, D/F (Domestic exports or foreign exports), the numbers and kinds of packages and any descriptive marks and numbers, the number of pieces and unit of measure, shipping weight in kilos, cubic meters (length x width x height in meters), ECCN or USML number if applicable, the license number if applicable, the selling price if not sold, license value by item, Cash on Delivery or C.O.D. amount, the name of a duly authorized officer of USPPI or Exporter, and the signature of an authorized employee. Letter of Instruction for Enforcement and Order: Having a significant role to play in enforcing orders, state governments, city governments, provincial governments, municipal governments, police services, government agencies, and other public institutions provide letters of instruction for enforcement and order for all communities and individuals. For example, they released enforcement, orders, and letters of instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic such as federal quarantine requirements, infection prevention and control measures, and workplace safety rules. Letter of Instruction for Site Visitors: This letter of instruction is provided to the primary contact of the program for guidance while working with the site visitor. It is used by the site visitor and program director to set the site visit schedule which includes with whom the visitors will meet and the specific times and locations where the meetings will take place. Letter of Instruction for Students: Teachers and other academic professionals create a letter of instruction for students to help them understand or obtain clear information on what they are supposed to do and so. Some students are having difficulties in fulfilling their homework and other school tasks. If you are a teacher that handles students with these issues, be clear and chronological when writing a letter of instruction. Use short sentences and check their level of understanding.

How to Write a Letter of Instruction

Are you planning to settle your personal affairs? Craft a comprehensive letter of instruction as you provide a simple explanation of your complete real estate property strategic plan to your executor and outline your personal wishes to your loved ones for things not covered by the will. Follow the basic steps below so that you can write a letter of instruction effectively.

Step 1: Include All Your Assets

Make a complete list of all your assets based on your asset tracking and corporate asset management plan and include detailed information about any tangible assets and all liquid assets such as a bank, brokerage, investment, and retirement accounts. Specify the names and contact details of any attorneys, bankers, brokers, or other professionals who manage your assets. Add informal information regarding the dispersion of assets, for example, describe who would receive a sentimental possession or heirloom. If you have preferred charities for donations, you may include their information as well.

Step 3: Add Relevant Personal Details

Outline any last wishes or relevant details you want to inform your family or loved ones. Include your specific wishes for your funeral and burial by including your preferred type of service, your final resting spot, clothing, music, flowers, and your obituary. Describe the services you want to make it easier for your family in the future.

Step 4: Describe How to Manage Your Digital Assets

Almost everyone has digital assets nowadays such as email accounts, online documents, social media accounts, subscriptions, and websites. If you have social media accounts, provide your login details in your letter of instruction so that your loved ones can have easy access to your digital assets and properly manage your account.


What are some types of letters of instruction?

Some types of letters of instruction are a business letter of instruction, a beneficiary letter of instruction, a deceased person’s letter of instruction, a financial letter of instruction, a letter of instruction for enforcement, a shipper’s letter of instruction, a school administration letter of instruction, a letter of instruction for the real estate plan, a letter of instruction for visitors, a letter of instruction for a loan, and a letter of instruction from the minister.

Why is writing a letter of instruction important?

Writing a clear and well-structured letter of instruction is important because it helps to explain crucial information to the recipient, guide them to fully comprehend the main idea or message, and motivate them to perform the important activities and tasks stated in the document.

What is the purpose of a letter of instruction?

The purpose of a letter of instruction is to provide an all-inclusive list of information that the family members or other key people need if something happened to you. It is a systematic way for you to give your family all the facts about your finances. Another use of a letter of instruction is to assist the recipient in fully understanding the given instructions and executing them accordingly.

Is a letter of instruction the same as a letter of intent?

Yes. A letter of instruction is also referred to as a letter of intent. It is a crucial document that elaborates on informal details that are not indicated in or appropriate for a will. 

How to give clear instructions?

Some tips to give clear instructions are to use concise, simple, and precise words, catch the attention of your reader, provide accurate, clear, and logical instructions, and demonstrate the process of the activity or task.

Letters of instruction such as business letters of instruction, beneficiary letters of instruction, letters of instruction for enforcement, and many other letters of instruction are fundamental tools for adults of all ages, fields, and industries. Work together with your family, qualified estate planning attorney, health care agent, and other key people when writing a letter of instruction. If you are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what you will indicate in your letter of instruction, consider following a format from our sample letter of instruction templates. Sample.net offers a diverse and wide-ranging collection of sample letter of instruction templates and other letter samples that you can easily download and use such as sample doctor appointment letters and sample contract termination letters