Letter of Wishes

A letter of wishes is a non-binding letter that is sent from someone establishing a trust to the trustees, demonstrating their wishes for the direction the trust will take. It is important to note that the writer of a letter of wishes (Settler) should not make it sound like they are giving orders to the trustees, just merely suggestions as to how the assets of the trust should be handled. Many people establish a trust in their will.


Starting to Write


Use the letter of wishes as guidance. Specific powers and limitations should be outlined in the trust instrument or will itself.


It is ok to be informal as it is likely you’ll be issuing this to loved ones. It is common to leave expressions of thanks and love within the letter.


If associated with a will you may want to write individual letters to each trustee for a personal touch, though your solicitor needs to be made aware of these.


This letter gives you the opportunity to explain the reasoning behind your decisions, such as why you wish X person to run your business, rather than Y.

Sample Letters

Letter of Wishes Sample

Graves Family Trust

203 Lucky Duck Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15205


Dear Trustees of Graves Family Trust,

To the current Trustees of the Trust dated 2009 between Richard Graves and the Geaves Family Trust.

I understand that I may not restrict your actions in the way you handle the assets of the said trust, but I ask you to consider the following when making decisions in regards to asset allocation.


–  This trust was initially set up to help orphaned cats and dogs, so I hope that you will keep this goal in mind when allocating yearly donations.


–  This trust was set up in honor of my late husband, who you all knew well, so I wish for you to allocate the assets in a way that he would approve of.


Thank you for your consideration.


Best wishes,

Tanisha Graves

Letter of Wishes Will Sample

To the designated Trustees of my Will,

I would like to thank you all for your support in my latter years, and I am confident that you will handle my wishes to the best of your individual abilities. My assets are listed below followed by wishes and guidance.


Pizza Restaurant:

As you all know this was my pride and joy and I hope that you can continue offering the same great service that I did to my customers. I would like Ollie to take over the joint. This may come as a surprise to some of you, but he is fresh out of college and a extremely bright young man who will go far in the business world. We had many a long conversation about his aspirations and he showed great interest in my old fashioned management style. I chose Ollie because I know he is enthusiastic and can be hands on. I fear the rest of you have too much going on already and may be forced to delegate or even sell the business. Good luck Ollie! Head chef Pete has all the info you’ll need to jump right in.



Please do not go for a quick sale. Kat and I bought this when we were a young couple and the owner at the time chose us specifically because he wanted to help us get on the property ladder during tough economic times. The country is in the same state, and I would prefer you entertain first time buyers over those looking to expand their “portfolios”.


Camera Equipment:

My camera equipment is vast and expensive, so if you decide to sell it let one of the young’ns get on the net and do the proper research. You probably won’t be able to get rid of it locally for the right price, so let them list it on Ebay.


Alfie The Dog:

It’s better if Alfie goes to George or perhaps Kelly and Mark, he’s an old grouch and wouldn’t suit being around the children or those of you with other pets. His basket is tattered, but he won’t appreciate a replacement!



As outlined in the will all money is to be divided equally in a 70/30 split. With 70 percent divided between the children of the family, and 30 between the adults. This also stands for anything that you sell, such as the camera equipment. Please do not sell anything without prior approval from other trustees.


For belongings being kept, whoever is truly interested should get what they like.


I love you all,


Letter of Wishes for Discretionary Trust Sample

Dear Trustees,

I specifically set up this trust for the purpose of funding further research in to concussion related dementia, otherwise known as CTE. As you will now be aware this is causing a serious downturn in my health. How you go about dispersing my assets is at your discretion, but ultimately 50% of all monetary wealth should go to this cause. I left a list of organizations of which you can donate to.


As well as my property I’d expect that valuable items such as my piano and comic book collection be sold to help fund the trust. Other personal belongings should be shared out at your own agreement. If the PC is worth keeping, please give it to Helen for her school work.


The enclosed envelope labeled “To Harry” is naturally for Harry’s eyes only, unless he should choose to share it with you all. It is a personal note, nothing to do with any assetts.


Best wishes and lots of love,