The Stanford Letter Project is a new way to initiate the conversation and make sure what really matters is communicated to your loved ones.

Estate planning is already an uncomfortable topic for most to think about let alone discuss with family members. However, thanks to Doctor VJ Periyakoil, it’s now a little bit easier to initiate the process. Last year, Periyakoil launched the Stanford Friends and Family Letter Project. The project is essentially an initiative that encourages people to open up and get their thoughts written down in an organized manner.

The project provides a set of guidelines and templates that are designed to be used by anyone, two of which are the “What Matters Most Letter” and the “Friends and Family Letter.”

The What Matters Most Letter is, as its name states, a template that allows anyone to document what matters most to them and what treatments they want in the future. This template is free, can be completed through a fillable form or smartphone app, and is available in print.

The Friends and Family Letter is available in the same formats, but addresses other topics. In particular, this letter is designed for people to complete seven life review tasks: acknowledging important people in their lives, remembering treasured moments in our lives, apologizing to those we may have hurt, forgiving those who have hurt us, and saying “thank you,” “I love you,” and “goodbye.”

If you have any questions or concerns about writing a family letter and would like to speak to an experienced attorney about the process then feel free to contact Simmons & Schiavo at (781) 397-1700 or visit our contact us webpage.

Reference: Write a “Last Letter” When You Write Your Will by Kristin Wong (9/14/16)