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How to leave a gift to charity

Making a Will is an important way of looking after the future of your family and friends. After you’ve taken care of your loved ones, you may also wish to leave a gift in your Will to your favourite charities.

It’s a little known fact that most charities wouldn’t survive without gifts in Wills.  By remembering your favourite charities in this way, you’re ensuring that their good work lives on.

The donation can be as small or large as you like.  If you’re unsure you can use our easy-to-follow calculator to help estimate the value of your estate and calculate your charitable gift.

If you choose to leave a gift to a good cause you should also make a note of the official charity name, address and registered charity number to give to your professional advisor when writing a Will. We can provide you with these details for our members via our find a charity search tool.

If you want to leave a gift to charity but have already made a Will, it’s not a problem. There are a couple of simple ways you can change it.

1. A new Will

The first and probably simplest way, is to write a new Will. Once a new Will is written, it makes any Wills made by that person in the past void. In fact, most Wills will start by reciting that you’re making a Will and that you’re revoking previous Wills.

You can write a new Will with a Will-writing advisor. Find a solicitor or Will writer in your area using our postcode search, or take a look at our links that might help when making a Will for further information. You can also use our find a charity tool to obtain a list of registered names and charity numbers for our member charities.

However, if you do not want to do this, there is another way. It’s called a Codicil.

2. Codicils

A codicil is a document used to change a Will that has already been made.

It’s used as a way to make simple additions or amendments to an existing Will like a change in the amount of a gift of money, or the addition of an executor or gift. This is all quite straight forward but problems can occur if you ever want to cancel the Will in the future.

When you cancel a Will which contains a codicil, the codicil does not get cancelled automatically, so when you write a new Will it can create inconsistencies and legal problems. To avoid this, make sure that any new Will clearly states that you are revoking all Wills and codicils previously made.

You can also make a codicil with a Will-writing advisor.

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