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5 Top Tips for making a Will

5 Top Tips for making a Will

By Naomi Pinder, Solicitor, Catherine Higgins Law


As part of Remember a Charity Week we asked Naomi Pinder, Solicitor at Catherine Higgins Law, for her top tips for making a Will

Top Tip 1.

Make sure that you leave your dependants enough money in your Will, so that there have no financial worries.


Top Tip 2.

Consider any other smaller gifts may like to include in your Will to remember friends, perhaps you’d like to leave them a memento or special ornament they have always admired.


Top Tip 3.

Then think about all the good causes which are close to your heart and which you have supported during your lifetime. We all have our special concerns be they animal welfare, supporting children, health and hospices, alleviation of poverty, overseas aid, advancement of public art and education and supporting faith and well-being. Remember that if you have given your generous support during your lifetime, this income will be lost after you have died and therefore it is important to consider making provision in your Will.


Top Tip 4.

There are there 4 main ways of including your charitable legacy;

  • You can leave a particular item, for example a painting to an art gallery but always check first that it will be accepted.
  • A gift of money, for example £1,000 to your named charity.  You can include a single gift or multiple gifts.
  • A gift of your residuary estate or part of your residuary estate (residuary estate is your estate that is left after everyone named in your will has been allocated what you have specified).

For example, you could leave your residuary estate to your named charity or to be equally divided between 5 named charities.  Or you could specify that your residuary estate is to be divided 50% to your grandchildren and 50% to your named charity.

  • A gift in trust to be distributed between such charities as are selected after you have died and by your trustees, you can indicate which type of charities should benefit, for example charities devoted to the alleviation of poverty in the UK.


Top Tip 5.

Finally, there’s the old saying about death and taxes! There are good reasons to include charitable legacies because they are exempt from inheritance tax and will lower the size of your taxable estate. If you leave more than 10% of your net estate to charity and your estate is still over the allowance, the rate of tax is reduced to 36%.


In summary, to include a gift in your Will for the benefit of others creates a wonderful lasting legacy, enabling your kindness and generosity to live on long after you have passed away.