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Writing/updating your Will

How to leave St Christopher’s a gift in your Will

People often do not want to think about making a Will, and it is surprising how many of us die without making one. However, making a Will is relatively easy and probably one of the most important things you can do to ensure your wishes will be carried out after your death. It also ensures that your family and loved ones are taken care of in the way that you want. If you don’t prepare properly, Inheritance tax could mean that more of your estate goes to the taxman.

Before you draft your Will, you should:

  • List everything that you own – property, shares, investments, life insurance policies, bank balances, car and all your valuables and possessions
  • Calculate the value of all these assets
  • Decide who should benefit from your estate, e.g. family, friends, charities
  • Decide who to appoint as your executor(s), i.e. the people who will administer your estate

Drafting and updating your Will

It is always best to ask a legal adviser to draft your Will. He or she will know the correct form of words and can avoid ambiguities and misunderstandings, and they can explain the three different types of legacies.

If you do decide to leave a legacy to St Christopher’s in your Will, please remember to include the hospice’s registered charity number: 210667.

Updating an existing Will

You can also help the work of St Christopher’s by changing your existing Will. Minor alterations may be made through the use of a codicil which is a formal addition to your existing Will. There is no legal limit on how many codicils may be added to a Will, but they should only be used for very simple and straightforward changes.

Extensive changes may necessitate an entirely new Will. It is important that you do not attempt to change your existing Will by deleting or adding words. Nor should any attachments be made to your existing Will. Steps such as these are likely to invalidate your existing Will.

Should you choose to execute a codicil, it is important that it is properly signed and witnessed.

  • The testator (the person making the codicil) must be 18 years old and of sound mind.
  • The codicil must be signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses. These witnesses do not need to be the same people who witnessed the signing of the original Will.
  • A witness must have no interest in the inheritance from the Will or codicil and must not be receiving anything from the testator.

After the codicil is executed, it should be stored with the original Will in a safe place. It is recommended that codicils are numbered, so that executors will know how many documents to consult alongside the Will. Do not attach the codicil(s) to the Will, as attaching anything to your Will document would invalidate it.  Please let us know when the codicil has been completed and where it is held.

More information

Rachel Hedley Legacy and In Memory Fundraiser, Fundraising

020 8768 4632