How to leave a gift to charity in your will

Why do I need a will?
If someone dies ‘intestate’ (without having written a will), their estate is divided up according to preset rules enforced by the government. This may mean that family and friends – and of course any supported charities – miss out entirely.

Making a will ensures that the money you leave behind goes exactly where you want it to.

Why do I need a solicitor’s help?
Many people are attracted by the low cost of using DIY packs or internet wills, but while they may be cheaper, if you don’t fully understand the law surrounding your legacy you may expose your will to costly challenges after your death. Using a solicitor is the only way to ensure that your will is valid under English law.

Without a valid will, complex cases can often take months or even years to be resolved. This can create additional pressures for your family and friends at a time when they are already under stress. Having your will drawn up by a professional is a sound investment for your loved ones’ futures.


How do I find a solicitor?
You can go online and use our comprehensive solicitors’ directory to find a solicitor in your area who will write up a will for you according to your specific wishes and circumstances: search4solicitors

Alternatively, some charities provide a free will-making service - contact your favourite charity to find out.

What if I’ve already made a will?
If you have already provided for your family and friends by making a will, but would like to amend it to include a gift to your favourite charity, you can do so by drawing up a codicil. A codicil is an addition or an amendment to your will.

You can easily download and complete the codicil form from the Gift to Remember website. You can then take the completed form along to your solicitor, who will incorporate it into your will, making it legally binding according to your specific wishes.

What if I don’t want to make a decision just yet?
If you feel you’d like to leave something to charity in your will, but you’re not quite ready to make the decision legally binding, you can simply fill in a pledge form, which will notify your chosen charity of your intention to leave a gift to them in your will.

Both forms can be downloaded from the Gift to Remember website: