FAQs about wills

We answer common questions about wills and the types of gifts you can leave

Why do I need a will?

By making a will, you can ensure, as far as is possible, that your money, property, possessions and investments (your ‘estate’) are passed on to the people and good causes that you've chosen. If you don't have a will, the state will decide how your estate should be distributed.

How do I make a will?

We strongly recommend that you choose a solicitor or professional adviser to write your will.

Before consulting them, consider the value of your estate and decide what you would like to leave, and to whom. Our will guide can help.

How much does it cost to make a will?

Writing a will may not be as expensive as you might think and it’s the only way to be as certain as possible that your wishes will be carried out. Solicitors can provide estimates on request, but the cost will depend on how complex your affairs are.

If you’re really concerned about the cost of making or updating your will, please get in touch with us as we may be able to help.

How can I ensure my loved ones don’t miss out?

We completely understand that they are your first priority. All we ask is that when you’ve taken care of them, you consider causes that you care about. If you’re worried about eventually not having enough left, you might like to consider leaving World Cancer Research Fund a percentage share of your final estate (a ‘residuary legacy’) rather than a cash gift (a ‘pecuniary legacy’). That way, if the value of your estate goes down, your legacy to World Cancer Research Fund will too and other beneficiaries won’t miss out.

What should I consider when I’m preparing my will?

To help with planning or updating your will we offer a free guide

What types of gifts can I leave?

There are three main types of gifts you can leave to us:

  • residuary legacy – a gift of all, or a percentage or fraction, of what’s left in your final estate after all the other legacies have been paid out and debts cleared. One of the advantages of a residuary legacy is that it’s inflation-proof so you’re less likely to need to update your will in the future.
  • pecuniary legacy – a gift of a specified sum of money.
  • specific legacy – a specified item or items that could be, for example, property, a painting or a piece of jewellery.

To help your solicitor or professional adviser, we can offer suggested wording for these different types of gifts to World Cancer Research Fund.

Will my legacy gift be confidential?

World Cancer Research Fund will keep all details of your will strictly confidential.

It’s very helpful for us to understand why people make the once-in-a-lifetime decision to help prevent cancer through a gift in their will. If you'd like to share your personal story or why you’ve chosen to remember World Cancer Research Fund, we'd love to hear from you.

Personal stories like yours can be a great way to encourage others to think about supporting our future work in their wills. We would not make any use of this information without first getting your written consent.

How often should I update my will?

Once a will is made, it's important to keep it up to date and account for any changes in your circumstances. For example, you may have married, had a child or grandchild, or moved home, or your financial situation may have changed. It's also advisable to reconsider the contents of your will every two–three years to make sure it still reflects your wishes.

What about inheritance tax?

In general terms, the government sets a threshold (the ‘Nil Rate Band’) above which inheritance tax is payable at the rate of 40%. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on the current threshold and the implications for your will. If your estate would otherwise be liable to attract inheritance tax, leaving a gift to a registered charity such as World Cancer Research Fund could reduce the overall tax burden on family and friends.

What should I do if I’m acting as an executor of a will?

If you are an executor with questions on how to administer a will that includes a gift to World Cancer Research Fund, we have information that may be helpful.

I'm Sarah, Head of Legacy Development, and if you'd like to talk to me about leaving a legacy, please get in touch. I'm happy to answer any questions, in strictest confidence.
e: giftsinwills@wcrf.org
t: 020 7343 4200