The softer side of estate planning


    With Valentine’s Day here and gone, chocolates eaten, roses in the green bins, let’s delve into what a lasting love legacy looks like. 

    Love is more than things pretty in pink, it’s doing the laundry, the washing up, the things we don’t always feel like doing, like proper estate planning. 

    People assume estate planning is all dry, legal documents, and for the most part, they’d be right. However, at McManus & Co Lawyers we encourage our clients to consider complementing their legal documents with something more personal – a Letter of Wishes. 

    A Letter of Wishes is precisely that – a letter written by yourself expressing your wishes on matters important to you. It could range from guiding those left behind on how they should deal with your departure, their inheritance, the dog or the children’s schooling. 

    Unlike your Will, it’s not a legal document and cannot be enforced. However, we find it holds considerable moral sway and provides comfort to those left behind. 

    Depending on its content, it can serve as a roadmap for your executors, providing information about your assets, and who to notify. 

    The letter may also act as a guidance tool for your guardians regarding your hopes for your children, including directions as to how often you’d like them to visit their extended family or the values you’d like them raised with. 

    Additionally, it could offer assistance to your trustees regarding reasonable costs to be covered from the children’s inheritance during their minority. 

    Beyond practical considerations, some use such documents to provide sentimental notes to loved ones, convey confidential information unsuitable for a Will, or to specify the songs they’d like played at their memorial. 

    Essentially it is a platform for you to express your desires, sentiments and intricate instructions to your executors, trustees, guardians and beneficiaries. 

    While a Will is essential to create the framework of the legacy you wish to leave, a Letter of Wishes complements this structure by providing a dynamic and non-binding platform to communicate your heartfelt wishes. Before using one, we recommend you speak with your lawyer as it’s important that the Letter of Wishes works with your Will, not against it. If you are interested in learning more, contact us at McManus & Co Lawyers for further information. 

    McManus & Co Lawyers
    McManus & Co Lawyers
    McManus & Co Lawyers Suite 103, 1 Thomas Holmes St Maribyrnong VIC 3032 T: (03) 9318 4188

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