Can I appoint Macmillan as the Executor of my Will?

Yes. Macmillan would be honoured to act as your Executor and committed to handling your wishes with care.

You can contact the Legacy team about appointing Macmillan as your Executor by phone on 0207 091 2333, or by email.

What does the Executor Service cover?

Macmillan can deal with every detail of the administration process including: 

  • arranging a funeral and payment of the funeral costs
  • securing, insuring, and valuing property and assets
  • re-homing pets
  • identifying and contacting the beneficiaries of the estate and keeping them informed
  • paying any inheritance due from the estate
  • applying for a grant of probate
  • closing accounts and selling assets at the best possible price
  • calculating the value of the estate
  • finalising income tax liabilities and settling other debts
  • paying legacy gifts and distributing the residuary estate to beneficiaries 
  • producing clear and detailed estate accounts.

If you have family and friends who are willing and able to assist, then we will try to work with them.  


Do I have to leave a gift in my Will to Macmillan for them to act as my Executor?

No, you don’t have to leave a gift to Macmillan. 

However, the Executor Service is intended for people leaving the whole or part of their estate to Macmillan. We believe that the role of Executor is really important, and that you should always appoint someone you trust and who is motivated to do a good job. For those supporters who are trusting us to with a share of their estate we feel we may sometimes be best placed to administer the estate.

If you do name us as your Executor, we will always do our best to fulfil your wishes. However, we must always act in the best interest of people living with cancer and if administering the estate is likely to be detrimental to Macmillan then we may renounce the appointment.

Why would I consider appointing Macmillan as Executor of my Will?

Macmillan is a long-standing and trusted organisation with lots of experience dealing with legacy gifts and estates. 

We will appoint a dedicated legacy manager from the Macmillan Legacy Team to ensure that the administration of your estate is completed in a professional and efficient manner. The legacy manager will work alongside the appointed solicitors.

We will do our utmost to ensure your final wishes are fulfilled and that your estate is administered as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

Many people choose to appoint Macmillan when they don’t have an appropriate family member or friend to act for them. However, in some cases Macmillan are appointed to ensure assets are administered impartially and without imposing any extra responsibility on loved ones when they are already grieving.

What wording would I include in my Will to appoint Macmillan as Executor?

We suggest the following wording ‘I appoint Macmillan Cancer Support (charity number 261017) registered address 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7UQ to be the Executor of my will’.

Should I let Macmillan know I have appointed them as Executor of my Will?

Although you are not obliged to tell Macmillan that you have appointed the charity as your Executor, it would be really helpful if you do tell us in advance. We would then be able to stay in contact with you and make sure that you benefit from our full Executor Service, which includes useful information and updates. We would of course only contact you with your consent.

If you are writing a Will through one of our free will partners, it is likely they will seek your consent to inform Macmillan when we have been named as the Executor in a Will they have drafted. 

You can contact the Legacy team about appointing Macmillan as your Executor by phone on 0207 091 2333, or by email.

Where should I store my Will?

It is important you store your Will in a secure place, keep a copy safe at home and ideally inform a trusted family member or friend of the location of the original document. It is advisable to ensure your Executors know where your Will is stored. If you have used a Solicitor or Professional Will Writer they may offer a Will storage service. 

If you choose to appoint Macmillan as your Executor, we can arrange storage of your Will with one of our panel of legal firms. Our contact details are 0207 091 2333, or by email.

Do Macmillan use external legal firms to assist?

Yes. Macmillan have a panel of legal firms it uses for the purposes of any Executor work. The panel is reviewed frequently and only contains firms we fully recommend for their expertise, service and value for money.

Is there a cost if Macmillan acts as my Executor?

Macmillan does not charge any fees or take any commission when it is acting as Executor.  

However, we outsource most of the work to a small panel of highly trusted and fully vetted law firms who we know are efficient and very competent. These firms charge us for the work that they do, with these costs coming out of your estate, but because we provide them with a lot of work, they are able to offer Macmillan much better costs than are available to the public directly.

Is Macmillan able to act as the Executor of an estate when not named in the Will?

Macmillan can act as the Administrator of the estate in cases where the named Executor does not wish (or is unable) to take an active role in the administration of the estate, or where they want to step down as Executor. An Administrator is similar to an Executor.

There are three ways in which this can happen.  

1. The named Executor can sign a power of attorney for Macmillan to deal with the administration of the estate on their behalf. The named Executor would remain an Executor but would be handing over responsibility for the estate to Macmillan. 

2. If Macmillan is a residuary beneficiary of the estate and the named Executor decides to renounce (step down) from its role, then Macmillan would have the right to act as Administrator of the estate, by virtue of being a residuary beneficiary.

3. If Macmillan is not a residuary beneficiary of the estate but all the residuary beneficiaries agree that Macmillan should act as Administrator, the Executor can renounce and the beneficiaries consent to Macmillan acting.

The legal language used when dealing with Wills can be complex. To find out more about some common terms used check out our glossary.


Are there circumstances in which Macmillan would be unable to act as my Executor?

Yes. All Executors have the right to step back from acting in the position of Executor before commencing administration of the estate if they consider it appropriate to do so. This is achieved by signing a document called a Deed of Renunciation (to resign from the role).

We may consider renouncing our role as Executor if, having considered all the circumstances of the estate, we believe it is appropriate and in the interests of the beneficiaries to renounce. A legal fee may be payable in relation to drafting the Deed of Renunciation. These are some scenarios which may lead to Macmillan stepping back from the Executor role:

  • Macmillan has not been left a gift in the Will
  • the legal costs can’t be covered by the estate 
  • the estate is particularly complex (if you are unsure about the level of complexity in respect of your estate, please contact the Legacy team and we will be happy to discuss further)
  • the estate is subject to a legal dispute which Macmillan does not feel able to handle with impartiality 
  • involvement in the estate administration may impact the reputation of the charity
  • another party is better placed to undertake the role.

Can I appoint Macmillan to be both Executor and Trustee of my Will?

While an Executor is responsible for administering the estate, a Trustee is also required if a Trust arises from the Will. The Trustees are responsible for looking after the assets within the Trust for the benefit of the named beneficiaries.

  • Where a Trust will arise only for the purposes of selling all the assets and distributing the residuary estate to the named beneficiaries, it is common to appoint the same person or organisations to both roles. Macmillan Cancer Support is a Trust Corporation and therefore can take on the role of Trustee – we would gladly be appointed as both Executor and Trustee in this scenario.
  • Where a Trust will arise as a longer-term commitment, for example if the Will makes provision for a minor to receive funds from the Trust at a future date (i.e. upon a minor attaining a certain age), please contact us before naming Macmillan as Trustee in this capacity.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?

Please contact the Legacy team if you have further questions about appointing Macmillan as your Executor by phone on 0207 091 2333, or by email.

If you have been appointed the Executor of a will, we have information to support you.