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How to leave a gift in your Will

Making a Will is simple and straightforward. We are here to support you every step of the way.

How to write a Will for the first time

We recommend using a solicitor to draw up your Will. A qualified solicitor can guide you through unfamiliar legal language as well as any issues in Probate Law, Inheritance Tax, and Capital Gains Tax that may affect your estate.

Using a solicitor can give you peace of mind, and you’ll have the opportunity to set everything out clearly so that there are no chances of misunderstanding your wishes.

The Law Society has lots of information on how to choose a solicitor:

Before you seek professional advice, make sure you have these handy:

  • A list of all your assets with rough estimates of what they might be worth.
  • A list of any outstanding debts you may have.
  • A list of your beneficiaries, including any charities you would like to include in your Will, with their registered charity numbers.

Ideally, you should also:

  • Decide who will be the executors for your Will – these are the people who will carry out the instructions within your Will.
  • Choose guardians for your children if they’re under 18 – but make sure to discuss this with the people you choose before including them in your Will.
  • Decide whether you would prefer burial or cremation.
  • Choose whether you would like flowers at your funeral or whether you would prefer donations to go to Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity.
  • Once your Will has been written and you’re happy that it reflects your wishes, you need to sign it in front of two other people, who will act as witnesses.
  • A witness must not be a direct family member (this includes your spouse or civil partner) or a beneficiary in your Will.
  • Your solicitor may be able to arrange suitable witnesses on your behalf. If you’re not sure who to ask.

The most common types of gift

  • Every gift in your Will, large or small, means a great deal to us, to the hospital team, and to the children and families they care for.
  • We’ll do our best to honour any specific requests. Although the Guy’s and St Thomas’ team is forward-thinking, none of us can see the future.
  • If you’re planning to leave a gift please think about including as few restrictions about how it can be used as possible, so that it can be directed to where the need is greatest.

How to change an existing Will

  • You can add something called a codicil to your existing Will at any time.
  • A codicil is a legally valid addition to a Will that can be used to make specific changes or amendments, such as replacing an executor or including a new gift, while leaving the rest of your instructions untouched.
  • The codicil needs to be signed and witnessed in the same way as a Will, then stored with (but not attached to) the original Will to which it relates. A solicitor can advise you or write a codicil on your behalf.
  • If you want to make lots of changes to your existing Will, it may be best to write a completely new one. We recommend you discuss this with your solicitor.

A gift in your Will can ensure care never stands still

Our free Wills guide provides everything you need to know about how your legacy gift can support the exceptional team at Guy’s and St Thomas’, deliver better treatment for generations to come.

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