Get free Will advice
We're part of the National Free Wills Network, which means our supporters may be able to have a simple Will written for free by a local, qualified solicitor. To use this service, follow these four simple steps:
- Email your full name and address to [email protected] - or call 020 7554 0330
- You'll receive a pack from the National Free Wills Network within two weeks. This pack will have details of some local solicitors who participate in the free Wills scheme
- Contact one of the solicitors to make an appointment
- When you meet with your solicitor, complete the yellow declaration form with them, and specify how you'd like to support the BHF in your Will, if you've chosen to do so.
Remember, if you use this scheme, you don't have to leave a gift to us in your Will - providing for your family, friends and loved ones should always come first. But if you do choose to remember us, thank you. Your gift could mean huge leaps forward in our pioneering research.
Prepare to visit your solicitor
Whether you decide to use our free Wills service or not, we recommend you consult a qualified solicitor or member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters when making your Will. As a general guideline, this could cost between £100 and £200 for an individual Will, and £150-£300 for a mirror Will. As Wills are complex legal documents, it's important to get the wording correct, so that any gifts you leave can be given to the right people without delay. Using a professional can save you time and money in the long run.
Before you meet with your solicitor or Willwriter, it's a good idea to do the following:
- Think about everything you own, and any debts you might have - such as outstanding loans. You could write them as a list, for ease. This will help you work out the value of your 'estate' (the combined value of all your money, property, and possessions) so you know how what you can afford to leave
- Decide on what gifts you want to leave, and to whom
- Choose your executor. This can be a friend or family member you trust to carry out your wishes, but you could also choose a professional such as your solicitor or an accountant, if they are happy to be your executor
- Create a letter of wishes to help those who may make your funeral arrangements.
Doing this preparation will ensure your appointment runs smoothly, and having a good overview of your financial affairs beforehand will allow your solicitor to advise you on any Inheritance Tax liability on the gifts in your Will. If you need any help understanding some of the legal terms you might come across during your preparation, take a look at our glossary.
Get the wording right
To make sure we can receive the gift you decide on, whatever it may be, we ask that you use our full name, charity number and address:
“British Heart Foundation”
“Registered Charity Number 225971”
“Greater London House
180 Hampstead Road
Your chosen solicitor or professional Willwriter can help get the right wording in your Will. If the wording in the Will is not right, we might not be able to receive the gifts you have left us.
Keep your Will safe and up to date
Once you've met with your solicitor or Willwriter to create your Will, it's important to keep it in a safe place. Many people choose to keep their Will with their solicitor, but you can keep it wherever you feel most comfortable. You should make sure your executor is aware of where your Will is, so they can carry out your wishes when the time comes.
It's also important to review your Will every few years, or after any major life event, such as getting married, moving house, or having a grandchild. If there are any changes you'd like to make when reviewing your Will, we suggest writing a new one. You could also make a small change with a ‘codicil' - a document that acts as an addition, amendment or supplement to the original Will, but this wouldn't be possible through the Free Wills Network. A codicil often costs the same as having a Will written by a solicitor, so it may be easier to use the Free Wills Network to get a new Will written, as a codicil can become separated from your original Will. If this happens, your executor and beneficiaries won't be able to see or act on the changes you have made.
Need more help?
If you have any further questions, feel free to get in touch with our team, by emailing [email protected] or calling 020 7554 0330. All the information you'll need for writing a Will is also in our free gifts in Wills guide.