Letter of wishes

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.

For more information, see our page Letter of wishes.