Trust Series 2021 - Memoranda of wishes - 8 September 2021 (On Demand)


How to draft them – when to disclose them

A memorandum of wishes (also called a letter of wishes or letter of guidance) is a mechanism by which a settlor can attempt to exert residual influence over the management of the assets the settlor has sacrificed control of. As noted in Breakspear v Ackland [2009] Ch 32:

“The defining characteristic of a wish letter was that it contained material which the settlor desired that the trustees should take into account when exercising their … discretionary powers.”


This webinar, which will include a comprehensive work book and conclude with a question and answer section, will focus on:

  • How to draft a clear and effective memorandum of wishes
  • Drafting traps
  • Who can provide a memorandum of wishes?
  • Trustee’s disclosure obligations with respect to memoranda of wishes
  • The implications of up-dating memoranda of wishes following the High Court decision in Public Trust v Kain [2021] NZHC 1000 (subject to appeal)
  • How binding is a memorandum of wishes on the trustees?
  • “Informal” memoranda of wishes, and
  • Relevant case law


Memoranda of wishes are commonly, but not always pro forma documents that may not fully canvas the settlor’s considered wishes
This insightful and practical webinar, which will consider contemporary matters relating to memoranda of wishes and will include a precedent memorandum of wishes, will also consider the opportunities a good memorandum of wishes can afford and the dangers of a poorly crafted memoranda of wishes.


8 September 2021


  • How to draft a clear and relevant memorandum of wishes
  • When and how to review memoranda of wishes
  • Whether trustees can comply with the settlor’s intentions as expressed in a memorandum of wishes
  • Factors to consider regarding disclosing a memorandum of wishes to beneficiaries.


This webinar is targeted at all practitioners at all levels but will be of particular interest to practitioners who advise clients who are establishing new trusts or who deal with on-going trust administration (including lawyers, accountants and professional trustees).


Vicki Ammundsen, Director, Vicki Ammundsen Trust Law Limited

1.25 CPD Hours

  • On Demand Event
    • $195.00 excl. GST
    Complete online in your own time (Self-paced)
    • $195.00 excl. GST

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Sole practitioners

A discount on webinars is available for sole practitioners. Please contact us at NZ‑ to confirm eligibility.