What is a Will?

Your Will tells everyone what should happen to everything you own after you die.

Your property, personal possessions and money all together is called your ‘estate’.

If you die without a Will, it can cause added stress for your loved ones and the law decides how your estate is passed on.

A Will makes it easier for your loved ones and ensures everything goes where you want.

How does The Christie use gifts in Wills?

Gifts in Wills go directly towards funding cancer prevention, research, treatment and care, over and above what the NHS funds.

In fact, 1 in 3 of our charitable projects against cancer is funded thanks to gifts in Wills.

Here you will find example wording so that you can make sure your Will reflects your wishes.

We regularly share reports to show how gifts in Wills make a difference to people with cancer and their loved ones. You can contact our Legacy Officer or come along to an event to hear how gifts in Wills change lives.

How can I include a gift in my Will?

Simply speak to a solicitor to make sure your Will correctly reflects your wishes.

The Law Society can provide you with details of solicitors near you.

Our page on including a gift in your Will gives the key information you’ll need.

I already have a Will – can I update it to include a gift to The Christie?

Yes. You can update an existing Will to include a gift to The Christie.

A solicitor can advise you on how to update your Will. It’s best not to make the update yourself because it could make your Will invalid.

Does a charitable gift in my Will mean that I can save on inheritance tax?

You don’t have to pay inheritance tax on anything you leave to charity and you might be eligible for an inheritance tax exemption.

By simply giving a gift to charity, you can reduce your rate of inheritance tax from 40% to 36%. You might imagine this wouldn’t apply to you, but the donation does not need to be as large as you might think.

With a little planning, your loved ones can potentially end up receiving practically the same amount, even though a much larger donation has been made to charity.

As Christie supporter Peter explains: "A percentage gift will have a huge impact for Christie patients, with little effect on what’s remaining for your loved ones. The decision therefore to leave 10% of the taxable estate over and above allowances to charity means the government is effectively funding 76% of the gift."

You can read more in Peter’s story.

Please speak to a solicitor or financial advisor to find out more about inheritance tax if this something you're considering.

What kind of gift could I include in my Will?

There are three different types of gifts:

  1. Share of your estate

    A percentage of your estate, sometimes called a ‘residuary legacy’.

    This type of gift usually maintains value or increases in value over time.

  2. Specific amount

    A set amount of money, sometimes called a ‘pecuniary legacy’.

  3. Specific item

    A specific item to be sold such as a property.

Can I change my mind about a gift in my Will?

Yes – you can change your Will at any time. We know that including a gift in your Will is a personal decision to make. There is no obligation to include a gift in your Will.

You are welcome to speak to us about your gift. This gives us the opportunity to thank you and share how your gift will make a difference.

Is it worth including a gift in my Will?

A gift of any size can make a real difference towards helping people with cancer.

You don’t need to have a lot of money. Once you have taken care of your loved ones, a 1% gift in your Will could one day change the lives of people with cancer and their families.

You may choose to include a gift in your Will for any of the following reasons:

  • Support the causes close to my heart
  • Save lives
  • Achieve my wishes for the future
  • Show that I care
  • Pass something on for future generations
  • Be tax efficient
  • Reflect how I wish to be remembered

Who includes gifts in their Wills?

You can see just some of the reasons people choose to leave us a gift in their Wills on our pledger stories page.