Should I Draft A Letter of Wishes To My Estate Trustee?

By Vanessa DeDominicis

When a Trust is established, through a Will or otherwise, it is usually recommended for the Will maker or Settlor to provide the trustees of the Trust with a Letter of Wishes (sometimes called a Memorandum of Wishes) with regard to the administration of the Trust and how they would like things to be handled. A Discretionary Trust will contain very little specific direction to the Trustee, because by its very nature it is “discretionary”. A Letter of Wishes is a non-binding document wherein the creator of the Trust can share personal thoughts and perspectives with those who will be potentially acting over the years as Trustee. Letters of Wishes are very personal documents and can contain a myriad of suggestions for Trustees. A few examples are below:

  • direction to give a gift of $100 on every birthday to X, Y, Z
  • direction to purchase a car from Trust funds on X’s 18th birthday, not to exceed $10,000
  • direction to allow Trust funds to be used for a downpayment on X’s first home, not to exceed 25% of the home’s purchase provided X can demonstrate that they can support the remaining 75% by way of mortgage

The list could go on and on. This is not something that your Lawyer needs to draft. It should come from you, to your Trustee. Your Lawyer can certainly give you suggestions and a template to work with.


This is provided as information ONLY; it should NOT be construed as legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer to provide you with specific advice for your own situation. For more information on estate planning/incapacity planning and to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact Vanessa DeDominicis on 250-869-1140 or dedominicis@pushormitchell.com Vanessa practices in the area of Wills and Estates at Pushor Mitchell LLP in Kelowna.