What can go in a Letter of Wishes for Guardians?
A Letter of Wishes is an adjunct to the Will, and gives instructions to concerned parties: in this instance, Guardians.
Firstly, it is important to know that you cannot legally compell your chosen guardians to abide by a letter of wishes. It is to be used as a guide to how you wish your child to be looked after, so choosing guardians you trust is of the utmost importance.
Secondly, you should also be aware that, in the absence of a guardianship clause in your will, it is not a given that a family member will be appointed as guardian.
Thirdly, it is not important to use “legal speak”. Your own words will be fine.
Sample opening statement. The opening statement is recommended to state that you are aware that you cannot compel your trustees to abide by your wishes. This will allow the Court to know that you have received advice.
Recommended opening statement. You may reword this as you see fit.
Private and Confidential.
Although I know that I may not restrict the discretion of any trustees in any way, I would like the following wishes to be taken into account in the management of any minor children at the time of my death.
I wish my trustees to encourage further education and preferably to degree level.
If my children attend a university or similar education facility which requires them to live away from home, I wish them to receive from the trust fund a sum of £20,000 per annum, adjusted by the prevailing RPI.
I would like my trustees to apportion a commensurate sum from the trust fund in order to prevent any hardship or adverse circumstances that will harm my children.
My children have been brought up with Christian values and I wish this to continue.
My children must live close to their grandparents.
My children should not be moved to a different school.
In my will, my children are to inherit at the age of 25, however, if they wish to marry before this, a commensurate sum of money can be apportioned to them.
Likewise if they need a deposit for a property, I wish my trustees to apportion funds to aid a deposit.
The letter of wishes should be stored with the Will, but must not be attached to it. It can be modified to suit at any time.
These wordings are provided strictly as a draft for consideration. They are not legal advice and The Will Corporation Limited accepts no responsibility for losses whatsoever nature occasioned by the use of, whether unamended or otherwise of any of these draft wordings.