Home » Legal and money

Leaving a lasting legacy: Jo’s journey with Cancer Research UK’s Free Will Service

 Leaving a legacy with CRUK

With Cancer Research UK’s Free Will Service, remove any stress when arranging your Will… And make a lasting impact, like Jo, with a legacy gift.

This page is brought to you by: 

cancer research uk logo

It can be hard to tackle trickier tasks, like making a Will. If you can relate to this, then you’re not alone. Users on our forums also admit that while writing a Will may be at the back of their minds, so much so they never actually get around to doing it.

“Yep, it's the Wills we keep putting off. Ridiculous.” admits one user, while another confesses: “I need to sort out a Will, put it off for years.”

In reality, writing your Will is not a difficult task, and there are services that exist to help you create yours. Not only is it really important to make a Will in order to ensure that your loved ones are provided for in years to come, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to leave a lasting impact with a legacy gift.

Making a difference to other families like his was foremost in dad of four Jo’s mind, when he wrote his Will with Cancer Research UK’s Free Will Service. The 71 year old is passionate about funding life-saving cancer research, after the disease first affected his family 30 years ago.

“We have been fighting cancer as a family since my wife Sue was diagnosed in 1993,” Jo explains. “She was diagnosed with phaeochromocytoma and given six months to live. Fortunately, Sue was able to have a radioactive treatment. The treatment allowed her to live a normal life, bringing up the children and going back to work until she sadly passed away in 2003.”

After caring for Sue through her illness and treatment, Jo knew that he wanted to contribute in a positive way towards the efforts to beat cancer. Using Cancer Research UK’s Free Will Service, Jo pledged 20% of his estate to the charity. This means that, after his death, the money he has gifted in his Will, will help beat cancer for future generations.

What is Cancer Research UK's Free Will Service?

Wills with Cancer Research UK

The service allows anyone over 18 to easily write or update a simple Will for free - and pledge a gift to the charity at the same time. The service is easy and flexible too. Whether you would like to write your Will in person, online or over the phone, the charity partners with best-in-class solicitors and Will-writing providers to provide expert support.

For Jo, it was the perfect solution to help him pledge a legacy gift.

“I will continue to fight cancer until I pass away so why not continue to fight cancer once I’ve gone?” he asks. “I also hope my legacy could encourage people touched by cancer to realise that they can be proactive and help Cancer Research UK scientists to find cures. Leaving a residuary gift (a percentage of your estate) in your Will is much more valuable, ensuring your gift does not lose value over the years.”

How can I use the Free Will service to leave a gift in my Will?

It’s simple to pledge via Cancer Research UK’s Free Will Service and there are a few ways in which you can do it:

1. Your local solicitor

  • Write or update your Will with one of Cancer Research UK’s partnered solicitors.
  • Find a local partnered solicitor here or call the Cancer Research UK’s team on 0300 123 7733
  • Most partnered solicitors can offer guidance over the phone - contact the firm for more information and say you want to use Cancer Research UK’s Free Will Service 

2. Online

  • Use a free online Will writing service, which will guide you through the process of writing a will.
  • You can complete an online form with either Farewill or Co-op Legal Services in England and Wales. Wills by Brodies are available in Scotland.
  • While it isn’t compulsory to leave a legacy gift to Cancer Research UK when using this service, most people choose to do so.

3. Over the phone

  • Use Co-op Legal Services in England and Wales over the phone - 0330 606 9627
  • Hunt Solicitors are available to supporters in Northern Ireland - Call directly 0289 042 8600 or request a call back.
  • Professional partner solicitors will handle your Will request for you

Why gifts in Wills are important

Legacy gifts with Cancer Research UK

So why are legacy gifts in Wills so vital to Cancer Research UK? Because one third of their work is funded by gifts in Wills.

Funding from gifts in Wills helps to support scientists researching how some cancers can be prevented, improving detection and diagnosis, developing new treatments and improving existing ones.

For example, Cancer Research UK helped prove the value of cervical screening, which prevents thousands of deaths each year in England. Plus, the charity’s work has helped double breast cancer survival in the UK over the last 40 years and has played a key role in the development of radiotherapy, helping more than 130,000 people with cancer every year in the UK.

A gift in your Will can be a piece of property, cash, an item of significant value or a percentage of your estate. And whatever you pledge, no matter how big or small, your gift will fund breakthroughs like these.

Here are some examples of what gifts in Wills could fund right now:

  • A gift of £350 can buy special antibodies, which light up tiny parts of cancer cells, helping to uncover new ways to beat cancer.
  • A gift of £3,500 could buy a cell counter which can count thousands of cells in seconds, saving time and helping scientists to find the most effective ways to beat cancer.
  • A gift of £7,000 could fund one week of our Add Aspirin clinical trial into stopping cancer coming back after treatment.
  • Pledging 1.5% of a £100,000 estate could pay for a whole genome sequencing experiment–a way of ‘reading’ DNA so we can find out where cancer is ‘editing’ the words.
  • 3% of a £200,000 estate could fund a whole research group for the day at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Researchers there are currently focused on revolutionising the diagnosis and treatment of several cancer types including children’s brain tumours.
  • Pledging 15% of a £400,000 estate could buy a DNA-sequencing machine that allows our scientists to analyse a huge amount of DNA very quickly, helping them to learn more about cancer.

About Cancer Research UK

It’s been over two decades since Cancer Research UK was formed, and 120 years since the founding of its predecessor, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of some of the biggest developments in cancer, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and some of the top cancer drugs used around the world today.

Just as past discoveries have laid the groundwork for successful prevention, diagnosis and treatment today, the research that Cancer Research UK funds and the breakthroughs they make today, tomorrow, and in the years to come will be at the heart of progress that saves and improves lives for generations to come. Cancer Research UK wants to accelerate progress and see 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.

Cancer Research UK has come so far in the past 120 years. And with the help of gifts in Wills, they will go much further

Cancer Research UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1089464), Scotland (SC041666), the Isle of Man (1103) and Jersey (247).


sign up to gransnet