How to leave a gift in your Will

Gifts in Wills

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 the following steps:

  1. Make a note of the charity name, address and registered charity number. Use our charity finder tool to find these details
  2. Find a solicitor or professional Will writer to write your Will. Use our solicitor finder to find qualified advisors in your local area
  3. Read our guide on making a Will for advice on what you need to consider when writing your Will2
  4. Provide your solicitor or Will writer with details of your chosen charity

Updating an existing Will to include a gift to charity

If you want to leave a gift to charity but you’ve already made a Will, that’s no problem – there are a couple of ways you can change it.

1. Write a new Will

The simplest way is to write a new Will. Once written, any Wills made by that person 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 in your area using our postcode search, or take a look at our useful links 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.

2. Codicils

The other way 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.

You can also write a codicil using a Will-writing advisor.