How to leave a gift in your will

When making a Will, once you’ve taken care of family members and loved ones, you may wish to make a gift in your will. This can be a core part of leaving a legacy with a cause close to your heart and pass on something wonderful to future generations.

How to leave a gift in your Will to charity

Leaving a gift in your Will to charity is easier than you might think – in just three steps:

Step 1
Get the charity details Make a note of the charity name, address and registered charity number. You can search this on the Charity Commission website. It’s very important to make sure the charity number is correct to avoid any confusion, as lots of charities have similar names. If you're including more than one charity, include details for each one.

For Example:
Name: Mary Hare Foundation
Address: Arlington Manor, Snelsmore Common, Newbury, RG14 3BQ
Charity number: 1002680

Step 2
Read about what to include in a Will Take a look at the official Remember A Charity guide on making a Will for advice on what you need to consider when writing your Will. Making a Will – Remember A Charity

Step 3
Contact a solicitor or Will writer Find a solicitor or professional Will writer to write or update your Will if you don’t have one already, a friend or family member might have a recommendation. If not there will be qualified advisors in your local area on the law society database: Find a Solicitor - The Law Society. Then provide your solicitor or Will writer with details of your chosen charity while making your Will.

What can you leave as a gift?

There are two types of gifts you can leave to a charity in your Will:

1. Pecuniary gifts
A Pecuniary gift is a gift of a specific amount of money or item(s).

2. Residuary gifts
A Residuary gift is a gift of all or part of the balance of your estate, after other specific bequests have been made to family and friends and after all your liabilities have been settled. 

What if I already have a will?

There are two ways of going about leaving a gift if you already have an existing will:

1. Write a New Will
The simplest way to include a charity is to write a new Will. Once written, any Wills you've made in the past become void. You can write a new Will with a professional advisor.

2. Write a Codicil
If you have written a Will and wish to leave a gift to a new charity you can write a codicil. This is a document which makes simple amendments an existing Will such as adding a charity, changing a gift amount or adding an executor. Talk to your solicitor about updating your Will, or completing a codicil and storing it with your Will.