How to leave a gift in your Will

Has a charity helped you or someone you care about? Find out how you can thank them by leaving a gift in your Will.

Gifts in Wills are vital to the work of most charities. 

After you’ve taken care of loved ones, you may wish to leave a gift in your Will to your favourite charity and pass on something wonderful to future generations.

It’s a little-known fact that many 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 – every gift makes a big difference.

How to leave a gift in your Will to charity

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

Step 1 - get the charity details

Make a note of the charity name, address and registered charity number.

Use our charity finder to find these details or search 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.

Step 2 - find a solicitor or professional Will writer

Find a solicitor or professional Will writer to write or update your Will. Use our solicitor and Will writer finder to search for qualified advisors in your local area.

Step 3 - read our guide on making a Will

Take a look at our guide on making a Will for advice on what you need to consider when writing your Will.

Step 4 - contact your solicitor or Will writer

Provide your solicitor or Will writer with details of your chosen charity. They will need the full charity name, charity address and registered charity number. 

Frequently asked questions

We answer all your questions about leaving a gift to charity in your Will.

Your questions, answered

Updating an existing Will

If you want to leave a gift to charity but you’ve already made a Will, that’s not a problem – there are a couple of ways you can change it.

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. In fact, most Wills will start by reciting that you’re writing a Will and that you’re revoking previous Wills.

You can write a new Will with a professional advisor. Find a solicitor or Will writer near you with our database of 1,300 qualified and trusted professionals. You can also use our find a charity tool to search for registered names and charity numbers of our member charities.

2. Codicils

The other way to leave a gift to charity is to write a codicil, which is a document used to make changes to an existing Will.

It’s used as a way to make simple amendments like adding a charity, changing a gift amount or adding an executor. This is all quite straightforward but problems can occur if you ever want to cancel the Will in the future.

When you cancel a Will that 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.

A solicitor or Will writer can help with writing a codicil.

Find a charity

Has a charity made a difference to you or someone you care about? Or do you want to discover a new one that's fighting for a cause you're passionate about? 

Browse our catalogue of over 200 of the UK's favourite charities, and find out how you can support them.

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