Thinking about what will happen to your kids if both you and their other parent are not around is terrifying. To ease the terror, it is better to put in place a plan!

Your Will can nominate:

  • One or more guardians of your minor children; or
  • A pool of people from whom you would like a guardian selected, depending on everyone’s circumstances at the time.

Whilst a nomination isn’t binding, it provides clear direction and guidance as to whom you would like to step into this role.

To complement your Will, you could also prepare a Memorandum of Wishes. This is a private document that you could address to your guardians (or any other interested persons) providing guidance on how you would like your children raised if you were no longer around.

Your Memorandum of Wishes could provide guidance on:

  1. Your hopes and dreams for each of your children.
  2. What schools you wish your children to attend.
  3. Where you would like your children to live and the importance of “keeping your children together”, as opposed to living with different guardians.
  4. Making sure your children continue to do things that are important to you and your family. For example, practising religion and seeing “sides of the family” who may live far away.
  5. How you wish your children’s inheritance to be spent or rather, how you could not like it to be spent. For example, on flashy cars or cosmetic surgery.

We often find that people have the best intentions but entirely different views on how you would treat a situation. With a Memorandum of Wishes, even if you do not address a particular situation, your guardians (and other interested persons) understand your philosophy and have a “flavour” for how you would treat a situation.

A Memorandum of Wishes is not limited to raising children. It can address all sorts of things, including businesses, unique investments, trusts and even estranged relationships.


For more information on the benefits of Memoranda of Wishes, please contact Camille Broadhurst at Russell Kennedy Aitken Lawyers.

Camille Broadhurst, Associate Solicitor at Russell Kennedy Aitken Lawyers
Phone: 02 8987 0000

Please note the information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and should not be regarded as legal advice. Should you require specific advice, please contact Camille Broadhurst directly.