Letters of Wishes

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Letters of Wishes are not a legally binding document.They are not part of a Will, nor a Trust Deed, and they have no legal status when prepared.However, such letters, sometimes known as side letters, do help to exert a sense of moral obligation on those left behind to help administer the estate, or trust.

In the context of preparing a Will, Letters of Wishes can deal with:-

1. Distribution of personal possessions, which can be updated without the need to change the Will as and when additional items are acquired, or one’s mind changes.

2. Passing on small pecuniary legacies to other people, not wanting to be explicitly mentioned within the Will.For example, a suggestion to children that they might pass on something to their own children from a grandparent.

3. Funeral wishes, possibly going in to details about the service, music, or any other issue that is important to the individual.

4. Instructions or wishes for guardians, such as preferences over the type of education and how young children left behind might be brought up.

Such Letters of Wishes should not be overly legal and should, often, be written by the individual rather than the solicitor.Some help might be provided, particularly in the context of trusts, but Letters of Wishes should be seen as a personal statement, and worded accordingly.There is no right or wrong way of preparing such letters, nor is there any limit to what one might say.Some clients can even find it to be therapeutic and help in coming to terms with matters, particularly if one is struggling to find the words to say to somebody.

If you do require assistance in preparing your own Letters of Wishes please feel free to contact Richard Horwood, Head of our Private Client team.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances. Longmores Solicitors LLP are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are not authorized to provide any form of financial advice.