Trust Series 2023 - Memoranda of Wishes - 20 September 2023 (On Demand)


Whose wishes?

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.”

Too often memoranda of wishes are pro forma documents drafted as an adjunct to a trust deed by a person, or persons, unknown.

This webinar critically considers the surrounding circumstances in which memoranda of wishes are drafted and what steps advisers should take to provenance memoranda of wishes.

This webinar, which will include a comprehensive work book and concludes with a question and answer section, will consider:

  • the history of memoranda of wishes
  • what defines a document (or a series of documents) as a memorandum of wishes?
  • who can provide a memorandum of wishes?
  • drafting clear and effective memorandum of wishes
  • the implications of up-dating memoranda of wishes following the Supreme Court decision denying leave to appeal the Court of Appeal decision in Kain v Public Trust [2022] NZSC 65
  • how binding is a memorandum of wishes is on the trustees?
  • disclosure of a memorandum of wishes, and
  • relevant case law

Memoranda of wishes are commonly, but not always pro forma documents that may, or may not fully canvas a 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.


20 September 2023


Attendees will learn:

  • The indicial of a memorandum of wishes
  • How to draft a clear and relevant memorandum 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 Ltd.

1.5 CPD Hours

  • On Demand Event
    • $215.00 excl. GST
    Complete online in your own time (Self-paced)
    • $215.00 excl. GST

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Sole practitioners

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