Decline to Give Advice • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Explain in an inoffensive way that you cannot or would rather not give advice. If appropriate, suggest who may be qualified to do so.
2Express your good wishes.


If you cannot give advice, express your regret, and suggest that someone else would be in a better position to do so. Avoid comments or expressions of personal opinion, unless they are complimentary.

Example Letter #1


I am flattered that you would ask me for advice on such a delicate matter. I regret that I cannot be much help to you. I have neither the wisdom nor the experience to guide you in your divorce. However, I have a friend in Springfield, John Doe, who practices family law. If you wish, I can refer you to him. Whatever you decide to do, you have my best wishes.

Example Letter #2


Although I am flattered that you have asked for my advice, I am sorry that I must decline your request. My experience in the area of commercial real estate has been limited, so I really don't feel qualified to answer your questions.

However, John Doe, another agent in our office, has worked in this area for more than ten years and has a thorough understanding of the issues involved. I would recommend that you contact him with your questions.

Thank you for thinking of me. I wish you success in your new project.

Example Letter #3


I received your letter asking me for advice on how to invest the insurance settlement you recently received. While I appreciate the confidence you have shown in me, I really feel it would be better if you asked someone with more objectivity. I value our friendship too much to become involved with advising you in financial matters. There are many qualified, reputable professionals who can advise you better than I could.

I wish you the best in finding someone who can help you with this important matter. I look forward to seeing you at the Club's annual holiday party next month.

Example Letter #4


Much as I would like to take some of the credit for the next great decision in your life, I must bow out. Advising you on your relationship with Jane Doe would put me into a conflict of interest that could come back and haunt me.

I wish you the very best of luck and wisdom in this tricky situation.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step


Explain in an inoffensive way that you cannot or would rather not give advice. If appropriate, suggest who may be qualified to do so.

Example Sentences for Step 1

I appreciate your confidence in me in asking for advice, but I don't feel I know enough about the situation to give a good answer. Because I am not familiar with your situation and with this state's laws concerning your predicament, I feel unqualified to give my comments. Perhaps my colleagues, Doe and Doe, located in downtown Springfield, could serve you better. I would be happy to set up an appointment for you if you would like. I am sorry but I cannot offer you advice as to which direction to take. I believe you and your husband should study the options together and then come to a mutual decision. I really don't believe that I am the most qualified person to give that type of advice; however, if you just want to talk, I am here to listen. Because of the risk of litigation, the legal office advises me that I should refrain from giving investment advice at this time. Thank you for thinking of me when you needed advice. I am flattered, but I think someone with more experience in investing would be better qualified to help you. If I knew a lot about real estate, I would be glad to advise you. Since my knowledge is limited, it is best that I try not to give advice. I think that my brother, John, may be the best person to ask. I appreciate your coming to me with such a complex problem, but I do not feel qualified to help. Thank you for entrusting me with such personal and confidential information. I am glad you feel you can come to me with problems. Unfortunately, I cannot give you advice in this case, because I lack the medical knowledge. May I suggest that you speak with my friend, Dr. John Doe? He is a professional and will keep your discussions in strict confidence.

Example Phrases for Step 1

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