Frequently asked questions

a couple speaking with a solicitor

If you have any questions about gifts in Wills, you may find your answer here.

Or you can email us at [email protected], or speak to a member of our team by calling 020 7554 0330.

CONTACT US

 

How do I write my Will?

Writing your Will can be easier than you think. You will need to work out the value of your estate. This is all of your assets and an estimate of their value. You will also need to work out what you owe, such as an outstanding mortgage, loan or bills.

You will also need to decide who you'd like to benefit. These can be the people and causes close to you, like the BHF. It's also good to decide who will act as your Executors.

Once you have all this information, you'll need to meet a solicitor or a professional Will writer.

We have a free guide on writing your Will with further information. Contact us to request a copy.

Do I need a solicitor?

We would always recommend you visit a solicitor or a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers to assist you with writing your Will. It saves time and money to be prepared before your visit and you can see our six simple steps to help.

We cannot recommend individual firms, but you can find details of solicitors on the Law Society or the Institute of Professional Will Writers.

How much will it cost?

It depends on the complexity of your Will, but it could cost between £100 - £200 for an individual Will and £150 - £300 for a mirror Will.

However, you might be interested to know that the BHF is part of the National Free Wills Network and can offer a limited number of simple free Wills to our supporters.

There is no obligation for supporters taking advantage of this service to leave a gift to the BHF but we would hope you might consider it and we would be very grateful if you did.

What details do I need to include if I want to leave a gift to the BHF?

When making a gift to the BHF, please ensure that you include our full name, “British Heart Foundation” and “Registered Charity Number 225971” as this will avoid any doubt about our identity.

If you wish, you can also include our current address, “Greater London House, 180 Hampstead Road, London NW1 7AW.”

Your chosen solicitor or Will writer would be able to help further about where this should be recorded in your Will. 

What type of gift can I leave to the British Heart Foundation?

There are three ways in which your gift, big or small, could make a huge difference to future generations:

  1. A percentage of, or even all of your estate, once other gifts have been made. This is known as a residuary legacy.
  2. A fixed sum of money, also called a pecuniary legacy.
  3. A particular item such as a possession, property or even shares. This is known as a specific legacy.

Can the British Heart Foundation help me write my Will?

We can't help you write your Will, however the BHF is part of the National Free Wills Network and can offer a limited number of simple free Wills to our supporters.

There is no obligation for supporters taking advantage of this service to leave a gift to the BHF but we would hope you might consider it and we would be very grateful if you did.

Who should I choose as Executor for my Will?

The Executor of your Will can be anyone you trust to take on the responsibility and execute your wishes when you are gone. This is often a family member or friend. Alternatively, you can name a professional, such as a solicitor or an accountant.

Anyone is free to name us as the Executor of their Will, however we are under no obligation to accept this responsibility until you have passed away. We consider each circumstance on a case by case basis to see if this is something we are able to undertake.

Acting as the Executor of an estate takes up the charity’s time and money, so we have to be sure it is appropriate to do so.

What if I don’t think I’ll have enough money to do this?

Any legacy large or small is gratefully received. However, if you are worried that you might not be able to provide for family and loved ones then perhaps you might like to consider leaving a residuary gift to the BHF. This would mean that it will only be paid after all the other gifts you leave to your family or loved ones have been made first. 

What if I want to change my Will at a later date?

It is advisable to review your Will every few years or at the time of any major life event such as getting married or moving house. We would recommend writing a new Will but you can make a small change with a ‘codicil,’ a document which acts as an addition, amendment or supplement to the original Will.

It is worth bearing in mind that a codicil can become separated from the original Will and beneficiaries won't be able to see the changes made.

What is Inheritance Tax (IHT) and does leaving a gift to charity affect how much inheritance tax is paid?

IHT is a tax payable on the value of any assets you leave (and certain substantial gifts made during your lifetime). Charities are exempt from IHT and Capital Gains Tax and you can find out more about how a legacy affects the amount of tax payable on your estate in our handy guide.

Download our INHERITANCE TAX guide

Can I have a say where and how I would like my gift to be used?

If there is a particular area of our research that you would like to direct your legacy towards then you can let us know in your Will. Though we cannot guarantee that the research you choose will still be ongoing when we receive your kind gift.

You may wish to add a clause stipulating that should this be the case, the BHF can apply the funds where need is greatest.

Should I tell you that I’ve left a gift to the British Heart Foundation?

The contents of your Will are personal to you and we would never ask to know the details. However, if you have kindly remembered us in your Will we’d love it if you let us know. We’d welcome the opportunity to thank you for this life saving gift.

Contact us

For any other questions you may have, please fill in our contact form, and a member of the legacies team will get in touch. 

Or alternatively, email us on [email protected], or call us on 020 7554 0330.