A letter of wishes is an informal document that sits alongside your Will and sets out some guidance for your Executors and Trustees.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to write a letter of wishes:

  • If you choose to leave your personal possessions to a specific person or to your executors for them to distribute (rather than detailing the gifts in the Will itself), you should complete a letter of wishes so that they are aware of who should receive what.

  • If you choose to leave any part of your estate on discretionary trusts (i.e. trusts which give your trustees flexibility in how to distribute the assets), you should create a letter of wishes that the trustees can refer to for guidance after your death.

  • If you want to leave some guidance to your executors about the sort of charity you would like to leave gifts to (for example if you have named a charity that no longer exists at the date of your death) you can state this in a letter of wishes.

  • If you want to leave guidance to any Guardians you have appointed for your children, you may want to include this in a letter of wishes.

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