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Importance of Memorandum of wishes
Posted 17th November 2018


Traditionally, this document was used in conjunction with a Trust, to give the Trustees a
set of instructions to follow after the settlor (the person who set up the Trust) has died. 

What a lot of people fail to do is leave the same document with their Will, and we look at why this is important.

Your Will is designed to administer your estate (your property and personal possessions) as per your accordance. This can also cover pets and children.

We appreciate that a number of our possessions have high sentimental value. If an individual has a few such items (memorabilia, jewellery etc) then it is good practice to try and capture these as Bequests in the original Will however if there are a high number of such Bequests, we always recommend that these are captured in a Memorandum of wishes. This allows you to specifically name/mention everything that is important to you without it being thrown in as part of the ‘Residuary Estate’.

As well a Memorandum of wishes giving you the scope to name Bequests, you can also leave instructions to your loved ones. Here are some examples of what might be included:

- Essential information for guardians on how you would like children to be raised, information on where you would like them to live and education (If applicable)

- Explaining why you have left your estate to certain people and crucially if/why you have excluded anybody from a Will and the rationale behind this (you may need an ‘Inheritance Act Declaration’ if you are leaving valuable items including property)

- Instructions of who you want notified on your death (and in some cases, people that you do not want notified) (if you are excluding somebody, it is a good idea to

- Information on the location of certain key items and how to identify them

- If you do not have a pre-paid funeral plan, you may wish to leave instructions for your funeral

As you can see, there is a lot of vital information that can be captured on a Memorandum of wishes which can assist your executors greatly on your death.

A memorandum of wishes is a document that accompanies either a Will or a Trust. This is also known as a ‘Letter of wishes’.

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