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Free Will writing service

Looking after a very important part of your financial planning

We all know that making a Will is a very important part of our financial planning, yet many of us still haven't done so. Incredibly, one in three people die without having made this essential provision.

Generally, making a Will is easier than people think and it ensures that your assets pass on to those you would wish to benefit.

It’s often something we put-off or don’t like to think about, but if you haven’t written your Will or your circumstances have changed and you wish to review your existing arrangements, this could be the ideal opportunity to write or re-write your Will – and help safeguard your Estate.

You can have your will written or reviewed for free with Children's Hospice South West.

How does the free Will service work?

With office locations across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, and the option of a home visit if required, the firms who have kindly associated with us to offer the scheme are ideally placed to provide CHSW supporters with an efficient Will-writing scheme, allowing you to make a Will, with no charge to yourself or CHSW.

Whilst we are always very grateful for any donations we receive, there is no cost for writing your Will under the scheme. 

How can I find more information or take part?

Simply contact Rob Emery, our Legacy and Remembrance Officer. Rob will be able to provide further information and answer any questions you may have and provide you with contact details for your local participating solicitor.

Please note

  • Children’s Hospice South West are not charged by the firms for providing this scheme to our supporters. 
  • Children’s Hospice South West will not be informed of any arrangements made and these are treated as strictly confidential.
  • Children’s Hospice South West will not be liable or held accountable for any information or advice that you are provided with by the Solicitors and we do not endorse products or businesses. Please ensure you discuss your requirements fully with your chosen solicitor to ensure it meets your needs.

Request further information

If you would like further information about our free Will writing service or to ask a question about anything related to Wills, from leaving us a gift in your Will to administering an Estate, please complete our Wills enquiry form and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have, without obligation and in complete confidence.

Whatever its size, your legacy makes a big difference to short and precious lives.

Complete our Wills enquiry form

Contact our legacy advisor

Our Legacy and Remebrance Officer, Rob Emery will be happy to answer any questions you have about leaving a gift in your Will.

Rob Emery, Legacy and Remembrance Officer, CHSW

Rob Emery

Legacy and Remembrance Officer

Monday-Thursday 9.00am-5.00pm

rob.emery [at] chsw.org.uk

Inheritance tax guide

Inheritance tax is applied to some estates after a person dies. Your estate means everything you own, including money, property, possessions and investments (your assets).

Your solicitor or Institute of Professional Will Writers member will be able to advise you in more detail about inheritance tax (IHT), and more importantly, they can tailor this advice to your particular circumstances.

What is inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax (IHT) can be paid following your death on the value of your estate (and can also include the value of substantial lifetime gifts you have made and some types of trust funds). 

The new 10% IHT charity relief

You may also have heard that if you leave over 10% of your estate to charity, that the rate of any IHT due (on any part of your estate where IHT is due) would be reduced from 40% to 36%.

If your estate is over £325,000, use of this would enable you to leave a legacy to charity, whilst reducing the rate of IHT payable which could possibly have a positive impact on non-charity beneficiaries. In some circumstances, you can use this to leave a gift to charity at no cost to the beneficiaries in the Will.  Again, this is quite a technical provision and if it is of interest to you, we would suggest that you speak to a solicitor.

Changes to the IHT allowance or the value of your estate could make a big difference to the amount of tax on your assets, and tax rules do change, so be sure to review your Will frequently. It's worth seeking professional advice from a solictior, accountant or other financial advisor.

Please note that the rules are different if you die intestate (without a Will).

Find out more

Visit GOV UK to find out more about the rules and exemptions around inheritance tax.

Read our FAQs

Legacy glossary of terms

Legal language can sometimes be confusing. To make it just that little bit easier, here is a list of the more common terms you are likely to come across. 

Administrator

The person appointed by the court to administer your affairs if you do not leave a Will.

Assets

All your money, goods and possessions.

Beneficiary

Any person or organisation named in your Will who will receive a legacy or bequest (gift). 

Bequest / legacy

A gift of money, property or other asset in a Will.

Codicil

An additional document to your existing Will, making a simple change. It must also be drawn up legally and be witnessed.

Conditional legacy

A gift that will only take effect if a certain event occurs.

Crown

The official term for where your money goes if you die without leaving a Will and without any next of kin. In practice, this means the HMRC.

Estate

The total sum of your possessions, property and money (minus debts) left after your death.

Executor (male) / Executrix (female)

Someone you appoint to carry out the instructions in your Will. The Executors can be a solicitor, trust company, bank, charity or a friend or family member. Up to four Executors can act, and quite often the main beneficiary of your estate is named as an Executor.

Inheritance Tax  (IHT)

A tax charged if the value of your Estate is above a certain limit.  Inheritance Tax is set by the government which may be payable on death depending on the value of the estate and intended beneficiaries. Most people do not pay IHT due to the Nil Rate Band (currently the first £325,000 of your estate) and spouses are also exempt.

Furthermore, charities are also exempt from IHT so it is possible to give your whole estate to charity without paying any IHT or reducing the IHT with a bequest to charity. For more information please see our guide to Inheritance Tax.

Intestate

To have died without having made a Will or without a valid Will.

Legacy

A bequest or gift left in your Will. It can be in the form of money, property, stocks and shares or possessions.

Legator

Someone who has left a legacy in their Will.

Liabilities

Obligations (debts) which may need to be settled after you death.

Mirror Wills

This is when a husband, wife or partner make almost identical Wills leaving for example, everything to each other should one partner die, and if both die together then direct to another agreed beneficiary.

Pecuniary legacy/bequest

A gift of a fixed sum of money in your Will.

Pledge

To promise a gift (not legally binding).

Probate

The legal procedure after death, which confirms your Will is valid and confirms the executors’ authority to carry out your wishes.

It’s the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of the deceased, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under a Will.

Residue

The remainder of your Estate after all the debts have been paid and all your pecuniary and specific bequests have been made.

Residuary legacy/bequest

A gift of the remainder of your Estate after all other bequests have been made and debts cleared.

Restricted Fund

Monies or property required to be held for a specific project or cause, rather than for the general funds of a charity.

Specific legacy

A gift of a particular item, such as property, antiques, jewellery and shares.

Testator / Testatrix

The person who has made the Will.

Trustee

If your Will sets up a trust (for example a life interest trust), the trustees will be the people or organisations specified in your Will to manage the trust property according to the terms of the trust for the benefit of its beneficiaries, once the administration of the rest of your estate has been completed.

Their role is similar to the Executors of your estate and often, at least initially, will be your Executors.

Will

A legal document by which the testator states what they want to happen with their estate following their death.

Read our FAQs