What is a Memorandum of Wishes?
A Memorandum of Wishes is a document that is most commonly used alongside a Trust or Will to provide further guidance for your Trustees or Executors.
Memorandum of Wishes with a Will
When used with a standard Will a Memorandum of Wishes is a Document stating your personal wishes. Most commonly used for giving direction in relation to any small low-value informal gifts you wish to make such as personal chattels.
It is not always a good idea to put small gifts such as ornaments or items with a specific sentimental value directly in a Will as a gift. This is because sometimes such items could later be broken or even sold and your Will would need to be re-written each time becoming very costly.
Instead, these instructions could be placed in a separate Memorandum of Wishes. This separate document can also be stored with the Will and can be altered at any stage without the need for a formal signature with witnesses.
However, the contents of a Memorandum of Wishes are not legally binding upon your Executors, they are only an expression of your wishes.
Memorandum of Wishes with a Trust
A Memorandum of Wishes with a Trust will allow your chosen trustees to carry out your wishes with your further guidance thus giving you the peace of mind in knowing that your assets will be distributed as you once intended them to be. The Settlor (the person who set up the Trust) of a Trust leaves a Memorandum of Wishes for their Trustees to follow after their death. This ensures monies are used for the chosen beneficiaries of your choice.
You can also state in your memorandum of wishes that upon the death of a Trustee or beneficiary you can state who else you would like to take their place.
A Memorandum of Wishes is an expression of the wishes of the Settlor and is not binding on the Executor's or Trustees.
A Memorandum of Wishes must be in writing, signed and dated by the Settlor or Testator.
There is no legal requirement for A Memorandum of Wishes to be witnessed.
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