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10. Letter of Wishes




A Letter of Wishes is a document that can be drafted to accompany your Will. It can provide important guidance to the executors, trustees and/or family dealing with your estate or with any trusts that are to be set up after your death. It sets out your views on how you would like your assets to be dealt with, and how you would like your executors and/or trustees to exercise their powers.

While there is an element of discretion to your executors and/or trustees in making decisions, it can be desirable to make your intentions clear in order to help them fulfil your aims and wishes after your death. It creates a strong moral obligation for those involved in your Will to follow your guidance.

In contrast to a Will, a Letter of Wishes is not legally binding, it is commonly confidential, and you can easily change or review it.

  • It can be amended or updated by you whenever you wish, without the need to amend your Will.
  • Unlike a Will, which becomes a public document if a Grant of Representation is obtained, a Letter of Wishes can remain confidential to your family, trustees and/or executors. Therefore, it typically contains more detail of one’s family and affairs, and it can be written in your own words. It is important it is written in a clear and concise way to avoid any possible misinterpretations.