Statement of Wishes
Do you want a high level of flexibility but also would like your views and philosophies to be followed?
Whilst your executors and loved ones may have the very best of intentions, they may have a different view as to how certain things should be handled after your death. Or their personal or financial circumstances change in the future – after all we do not all have a crystal ball.
Rather than “hardwiring” all your intentions and views in your Will a Statement of Wishes (sometimes called a Memorandum of Wishes) provides flexibility. It is a morally (but not legally) binding and confidential document which allows you to provide a road map to your Executors, Trustees of Trusts established by you during your lifetime or established under your Will, guardians of your minor children, managers of your business and loved ones by expressing your views and wishes for example regarding your minor children’s care, schooling and comfort, the use of your beneficiaries inheritance, wishes for donations and gifts and funeral arrangements as well as your wishes on the management and administration of trusts and investments of their fund and the management of your business.
What you can address in a Statement of Wishes?
The short answer is – anything you like and which you think assists your beneficiaries and with the administration of your wealth. For example:
- Directions to the Guardians of your minor Children (Upbringing, Religion, Schooling/Education, Contact with Family Members and Friends)
- Wishes regarding control of Testamentary Trusts (age children should get involved, skill sets)
- Minimum Age for distribution of Capital from Trusts (including Testamentary Trusts)
- For which purposes Trust Capita may be advanced or whether it should be advanced by way of Loans
- Wishes in relation to investments
A Statement of Wishes expressed in your own words will provide guidance and comfort to your executors, trustees and beneficiaries so that they do what, and deal with, your wealth in a way you would have wanted.
We recently assisted a client whose deceased husband left a Statement of Wishes expressing his wish to establish a “special” fund for donations and gifts for the development of education and architecture in Australia. Our client was able to successfully establish this “special” fund based on the wishes expressed in the document.
If you wish to discuss or need assistance creating a Statement of Wishes please contact the Estate Planning Team today on (02) 8987 0000.