Letter of Wishes: how it can help you

Most people are aware of the significance of having a Will in place, to ensure that your wishes are adhered to and your loved ones are legally protected once you leave them behind.

But what if there are more wishes that you want your loved ones to be aware of that can’t be covered in a Will?

In this article, the Future Planning Solutions Will writing experts discuss why it could be beneficial for you to accompany your Will with a Letter of Wishes.

If you’d prefer to speak with a member of our specialist team, call 01282 695 400 for a no obligation discussion.

What is a letter of wishes?

A Letter of Wishes, is a non-legal, private letter that accompanies your Will which conveys any wishes you may want to be enforced following your death which aren’t included in your Will.

A Letter of Wishes provides additional guidance for executors and trustees, and therefore can make things easier for them when making decisions to reflect your wishes.

Like a Will, a Letter of Wishes should always be written in plain English, signed and dated.

However, unlike a Will, the signature should not be witnessed to avoid the possibility of someone claiming that it is a Will or a codicil. You can learn more about the importance of having a Will in place by clicking here.

What could you include in your Letter of Wishes?

There isn’t a limit on the number of requirements you can list in your Letter of Wishes, however it is important to make sure it doesn’t include anything that could contradict what you have put in your Will.

Things you might consider including are:

  • Additional details on how you’d like to be remembered, for example requests with regards to your funeral or where you would like your ashes scattered
  • A list on who you’d like to notify of your passing
  • A guide for your executors or trustees which portrays how you want your money or any testamentary trusts you may have to be managed
  • A guide for the guardians you appointed in your Will on how you want your children to be brought up, for example information on religion or education
  • Reasoning as to why you haven’t included anybody in your Will who you feel may contest or challenge your will upon your passing

You can write more than one Letter of Wishes. For example, you could write one to offer guidance to an executor and another addressed to a guardian detailing your specific requests for your child or children.

However, it is important to remember that a Letter of Wishes is not legally binding. It is therefore advisable to ensure that your Will is up-to-date and accurately reflects your wishes for any specific items you wish to leave to certain beneficiaries. For more information on when you might need to update your will, click here. 

Speak to the estate planning experts today

To learn more about how a Will or Letter of Wishes can help to protect you and your loved ones, talk to the estate planning specialists at Future Planning Solutions.

Our dedicated solicitors are able to offer a free, initial consultation on 01282 695 400.

Alternatively, if you are unable to speak to us over the phone right now you can request for us to contact you at a more convenient time by reaching us online.