How to leave a gift in your will
Thank you for considering to leave a gift to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity in your will. Your generosity will have a huge impact for years to come, helping to fund life-saving care and research, state-of-the-art medical equipment and training, and the small extra touches that help patients feel really cared for.
If you do decide to leave a gift, we would appreciate it if you could let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this page you will find information on:
Writing a will for the first time
We advise using a solicitor to draw up your will. A qualified solicitor can guide you through any unfamiliar legal language as well as any issues in Probate Law, Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax that may affect your estate. Using a solicitor can give you peace of mind, with the opportunity to set everything out clearly so that any chances of misunderstanding your wishes are minimised.
The Law Society has lots of information on how to choose a solicitor.
Before you seek professional advice, make sure you have:
- a list of all your assets with rough estimates of what they might be worth.
- a list of any outstanding debts you may have.
- a list of beneficiaries, including any charities and their registered charity numbers, you would like to include in your will.
Ideally, you should also:
- decide on the executors you would like for your will – these are the people who will carry out the instructions within your will
- choose guardians for your children if they are under 18 – but discuss this with the potential guardians before including them in your will
- decide whether you would prefer burial or cremation
- indicate whether you would like flowers at your funeral or whether you would prefer donations to go to a charity, such as Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
Once your will has been written and you are happy that it reflects your wishes, it needs to be signed by you and witnessed by two other people, all in the presence of each other. A witness must not be a direct family member (this includes your spouse/civil partner) or a beneficiary in your will. Your solicitor may be able to arrange suitable witnesses on your behalf.
Amending an existing will
You can add a codicil to your existing will at any time.
A codicil is a legally valid addition to a will and can be used to make specific changes or amendments, such as replacing an executor or including a new gift, while leaving the remaining instructions untouched.
The codicil needs to be signed and witnessed in the same way as a will, then stored with (but not attached to) the original will to which it relates. A solicitor can advise you or write a codicil on your behalf.
If you want to make numerous changes to your existing will, it may be advisable to write a completely new one. We recommend you discuss this with your solicitor.
Suggested wording for leaving a gift
If you wish to remember Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity in your will, you must include specific information: the charity’s name, address and registered charity number.
It is important that any gifts are clear and precise. We strongly recommend that you ask a solicitor to prepare your will to ensure it is legally correct and your wishes are fulfilled.
Depending on the type of gift you intend to leave, the following clauses could be included in your will and completed to reflect your wishes.
The charity’s priorities and patients’ needs inevitably change over time. Therefore we do ask that you consider leaving as few restrictions as possible so that any gifts can be directed to where the need is greatest. However, every gift is extremely valuable and always gratefully received, and we will do our best to honour any specific requests.
Pecuniary legacy (a specific cash sum)
I give [ ] pounds (£[ ]) to the trustees of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity and related charities of Francis House, 9 King’s Head Yard, London, SE1 1NA (Registered Charity Number 1160316) (the ‘Charity’) [for the general charitable purposes of the Charity] or [and I request the trustees of the Charity, but without imposing any binding trust or legal obligation, to use the legacy for [name of specific department or purpose]].
Residuary legacy (all or part of your net estate)
I give [all] or [[ ]%] of the residue of my Residuary Estate to the trustees of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity and related charities of Francis House, 9 King’s Head Yard, London, SE1 1NA (Registered Charity Number 1160316) (the ‘Charity’) [for the general charitable purposes of the Charity.] or [and I request the trustees of the Charity, but without imposing any binding trust or legal obligation, to use the legacy for [name of specific department or purpose]].
Specific gift (an object or property)
I give to the trustees of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity and related charities of Francis House, 9 King’s Head Yard, London, SE1 1NA (Registered Charity Number 1160316) (the ‘Charity’) my [name and description of item] [for the general charitable purposes of the Charity.] or [and I request the trustees of the Charity, but without imposing any binding trust or legal obligation, to use the legacy for [name of specific department or purpose]].
General clauses – this clause must be included in every will
Regardless of the type of gift you wish to leave to the Charity, it is important that the following clause is also included in your will:
If at the date of my death Guy's and St Thomas' Charity (Registered Charity No. 1160316 Company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 9341980) (the ‘Charity’) has ceased to exist or has amalgamated with another charity or transferred its assets to another body, in the absence of an expression of wishes of the testator, the executors of my will shall give effect to any gift made to the Charity as if it had been made (in the first case) to the Charity in its changed name or (in the second place) to such charitable organisation, that they consider most closely fulfils the objectives of the Charity. The receipt of the treasurer or other appropriate office for the time being of the Charity, or of any substituted charity to which the legacy is paid shall be sufficient to discharge the executors of my will.
Peter Pomfret was so grateful to the amazing staff who saved his life, that he decided to leave his entire estate to Guy’s and St Thomas’.
Peter said: “I was wondering what I could do to raise money that wasn’t too active, due to my health issues. I realised it was time I updated my will, so I contacted the fundraising team and they helped me plan out how to donate money that way, using their Free Wills Service.”