The chances are that you already have a Will - but when was the last time you checked it was up-to-date? Reviewing your Will and identifying any changes you might like to make - whether that's including a new grandchild or leaving a gift to charity - is crucial in making sure your estate goes where you want. Here's our quick guide to updating your Will and charity gifts.
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Making a legally valid Will is essential so you can control what happens to your assets after you pass away. It's also important to keep your Will up-to-date or check it if you haven’t done so in a while - especially if your circumstances have changed, for example if you have new grandchildren, have moved house, got divorced or have new matters that are close to your heart.
When you make a Will, you can have peace of mind that your estate will go to the people and causes that matter to you. A Will is the only way to make sure your wishes are followed how you intend. Keeping it up-to-date makes sure that it reflects any life changes that may occur.
Having an up-to-date Will makes it much easier to arrange the organisation of your money, property and assets, and be sure they’re acting on your wishes. If you don't have a Will, the process can be more difficult, stressful and time-consuming for family and friends involved.
Having a Will can help to minimise the amount of inheritance tax that needs to be paid (if any), so you don't pay more than necessary.
After you've passed away, you can make sure your partner is looked after by naming them in your Will. If you're not married to your partner or in a civil partnership, they don’t have the same rights as those who are, so including them in your Will makes sure they get what you want them to have.
Making a Will - and keeping it up-to-date - helps you to keep control of your assets. If you don't have a Will stating who you wish to leave what to, your estate could end up belonging to the Crown or government, so updating your Will can ensure your estate goes to the people and causes you love. For example, gifts in Wills fund over a third of Cancer Research UK's life-saving research.
Once you have taken care of your loved ones, you can leave a gift in your Will to causes like Cancer Research UK. Gifts in Wills are vital to Cancer Research UK, as they support the charity to fund research that accelerates progress, helping it to beat cancer for future generations.
Cancer Research UK’s research has played a role in developing eight of the world’s top 10 cancer drugs - so leaving a gift in your Will could be a way to make a difference after you've gone. Read on to find out more about the types of gift you can leave to charity.
After you have decided what to leave for family and friends, you can leave a share of what remains to charity. This is known as a ‘residuary gift’. A share is less likely to be affected by inflation, so it’s the most valuable way to leave money to charity in your Will.
Also called a 'pecuniary gift', this is where you leave an exact sum of money to charity in your Will.
You can leave a particular item of yours to charity in your Will. Over the years Cancer Research UK has received everything from a stream to antique jewellery, so the type of item left can vary greatly.
This is where you leave a gift for someone to use over a period of time. When the period agreed has ended, the gift can be passed on to others, for example a charity.
If you have decided to change something to reflect new circumstances, here's our step-by-step guide to changing your Will. If you'd like advice, Cancer Research UK has a Free Will Service if you'd like to write or change a Will - find out more here.
To find out more and to request your free Cancer Research UK Gifts in Wills Guide, please visit cruk.org/willsguide or call 0800 077 6644.