Gifts In
wills

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For most of us, our will is one way of looking after the people we care about. We leave them something to make sure they’re ok when we’re gone.

A gift to Macmillan in your will is an extra way of looking after the people you care about. Your own family, your friends and even people you’ll never know. People you will want to help because you know how hard it can be when families are affected by cancer. 
 
Your gift will help make sure we can be there for all of them if they ever need us, whether that's 10, 20 or 30 years from now.

Start the conversation

Request a booklet

You can use our form to request our free booklet about wills, legacies and Macmillan or express interest in one of our events.

If there’s anything else you'd like to know about leaving a gift in your will you can also request a call back from your local legacy advisor.

Edna's story

Why Edna's leaving us a gift in her will

‘I went through cancer eight years ago, and was so grateful for the support I got from the Macmillan centre across from the chemo unit. It had such a lovely atmosphere.

‘One in three people will develop cancer, so the chances are someone among the people I love may need Macmillan one day.’

The facts and fiction about wills

Our two minute video clears it up for you

How Macmillan uses gifts in wills

One third of the money we raise comes from people leaving Macmillan a gift in their will.

Those gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Big ones, small ones ... £200, £3,000, £20,000… 1% of an estate or 100% ... Or anything left over after the other gifts have been made.

We use those gifts to give support to people affected by cancer when they most need it. Someone to help them understand a diagnosis. Or work out how to tell the children. Someone to help them prepare for treatment, and cope with side effects. Someone to help afterwards, with returning to work, or living with cancer.

We know that people will keep on getting cancer for a long time still. Even a small gift will help us to give every person who has cancer, and their families, a Macmillan team in their corner.

Frequently asked questions

Having an up-to-date will is the only way to make sure that your family and friends, and any charities you care about, are provided for in the way you wish. Without a will, the state decides. It’s a good idea to review your will from time to time to ensure it reflects any changes in your family or personal circumstances, like marriage or divorce, the birth of children or grandchildren, or coming into an inheritance. It’s also important to check if your estate is affected by inheritance tax because legislation changes over the years. Close
Not really. It will be cheaper if you use our discounted will-writing service, which will help you find a legal professional you can trust to write your will.
 
Most solicitors will send you a list of the things you need to think about before you meet them or a form you can start filling in to make what you want to achieve with your will clear. That way, you can work through at home what you own, what you want to leave, who you want to leave it to, and who you want to appoint as your executor(s).
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‘Do it yourself’ wills, including ones you can buy in shops, can cause problems if details are left out or wording is not correct. These problems are often expensive to fix and could even mean your will is invalid. Close

It can be difficult to choose from the hundreds of solicitors available. You can use our discounted will-writing service, which will help you find a legal professional to write your will either online with telephone support or face to face. 

Or, if you’d rather not use these services, we will be happy to send you a list of local solicitors from the Law Society. You can also contact them directly.

In England and Wales, go to lawsociety.org.uk, or call 020 7242 1222.

In Scotland, contact the Law Society of Scotland at lawscot.org.uk, or call 013 1226 7411.

In Northern Ireland, contact the Law Society of Northern Ireland at lawsoc-ni.org, or call
028 9023 1614.

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Some solicitors will make simple wills for as little as £70, while for more complex wills it could be £300 or more. Most solicitors will offer you an estimate for your will without any commitment to buy their services.

We offer a discounted will-writing service, which will help to save you money with trusted solicitors.

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Yes. There are three main types of gift you can leave to a charity like Macmillan.

  • Residuary gift: once any specific amounts of money and items that you want to leave – like a house, land, jewellery or a painting – have been given to your family and friends, anything left over is called the residue of your estate. You can leave part or all of this residue to Macmillan. This can be the best way to leave a gift because as a portion or percentage of your estate, it should retain its value over the years
  • Pecuniary gift: this is a gift of a fixed sum of money. It’s worth remembering though that it will lose value over time due to inflation
  • Specific gift: this is a gift of a ‘thing’ like an antique, a piece of furniture, a house, some land, a car or some jewellery. If you leave a specific item to Macmillan, we will sell it to turn it into funds to provide people affected by cancer with the support they need.
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Even a small gift will help. When £100 could cover four hours of a Macmillan nurse, you can soon see how your gift could make a real difference to someone affected by cancer. Close

Your solicitor can help you to add a form called a codicil to your existing will. Don’t make changes yourself as it could render your existing will invalid if it isn’t done correctly.

You can download our codicil below.

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Gifts in wills to charities are tax efficient. The threshold at which inheritance tax kicks in changes from time to time.  You can find the current situation in ‘Your step by step guide’, which you can download at the bottom of this page. But if your estate is going to attract inheritance tax, any gift you leave to Macmillan will be deducted from your estate before any tax liability is calculated. So, if your estate is £20,000 over the amount allowed as tax-free, and you leave Macmillan £2,000, then inheritance tax will only be payable on £18,000.

Also, from 6th April 2012, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to a charity, you’ll be taxed at a lower rate (36% rather than 40%) on any part of your estate that qualifies for inheritance tax.

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The most important bits of information to include are our name, our address and our registered charity number:

Macmillan Cancer Support
89 Albert Embankment
London
SE1 7UQ

Registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).

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A good solicitor will make sure your will is worded to take account of any changes in your circumstances that may happen later in life – such as a birth or marriage, or a change in your finances.

Your solicitor will discuss the best way for you to provide for your family and friends while also knowing that you will still be doing something for your favourite charity.

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Useful downloads

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