Macmillan Free Will Service Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Macmillan Free Will Service work?

You can sign up for the Macmillan Free Will Service through this form on our website or by calling 0300 1000 200.

When you sign up, you choose from a list of our respected will writing partners to write your will online, through the post, over the phone, face-to-face at home or in branch with a solicitor. Please note that not all options are available in all parts of the UK.

We will then pass your details on to your chosen partner, for them to contact you directly and start the will writing process. If you have chosen an online option we will send you a link for you to get started straight away.

For more information about what to expect from your chosen partner, please see the FAQ 'Who are the will writing partners and how will I write my will with them?'.

Your partner will then help you to write a simple will that accurately reflects your wishes. There is no obligation to leave a gift in your will to Macmillan to be eligible for a free will as part of Macmillan Free Will Service. However, if you do choose to leave us a percentage of your estate after looking after your loved ones, you will be helping us be right there for people living with cancer in the future.

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How old do I need to be?

Macmillan Free Will Service is open to UK adults (18+).

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Who are the will writing partners and how will I write my will with them?

The Goodwill Partnership (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

The Goodwill Partnership provide wills via home appointment in England and Wales or telephone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Once you have registered for a free will with The Goodwill Partnership, we will provide them with your contact details and they will contact you within 15 working days via phone, email or post to arrange your will writing appointment.

Your will must be completed within six months of registration. To be able to meet this deadline, your home visit or telephone appointment should take place within two months of registering.

During your will writing appointment, a counsellor will ask you several questions and will your take your will instructions. Following this, your will is drafted and then checked by a solicitor, before it is sent to you in the post for your review along with instructions for signing. You should receive your draft will within 20 working days of your appointment.

Please note, The Goodwill Partnership do not provide urgent wills and the will writing process typically takes 4-6 weeks.

Hugh James (England, Wales and Scotland)

Hugh James provide postal and phone wills for supporters in England, Wales and Scotland. Once you have registered for a free will with Hugh James, we will provide them with your contact details and within 10 working days they will either contact you to arrange your telephone appointment or send you a will pack in the post.

Your will must be completed within six months of registration. To be able to meet this deadline, you should submit your will instructions either through your telephone appointment or postal pack within two months of registering.

Once Hugh James have received your will instructions, they will send your draft will within 10 working days for your review. Once you’re happy with the will, they will then send you a final version along with instructions for signing.

Please note, Hugh James may be able to provide urgent wills but ask that you make them aware of this as soon as possible. If not urgent, the process typically takes 4-6 weeks.

Irwin Mitchell (UK-wide)

Irwin Mitchell provide online and postal will services UK-wide and phone will services for Northern Ireland. Once you have registered for a free online will with Irwin Mitchell, you will be sent a link to get started straight away. This link will take you to Irwin Mitchell’s website where you will be asked to submit your will instructions via a webform.

If you registered for a postal or telephone will, Macmillan will provide Irwin Mitchell with your contact details and within 15 working days, they will send you a will pack in the post for you to complete and return or contact you to arrange a phone appointment.

Your will must be completed within six months of registration. To be able to meet this deadline, you should submit your will instructions either online, through your telephone appointment or postal pack within two months of registering.

Once Irwin Mitchell have received your will instructions, they will send your draft will within 10 working days for your review. Once you’re happy with the will, they will then send you a final version along with instructions for signing.

Please note, Irwin Mitchell may be able to provide urgent wills but ask that you make them aware of this as soon as possible. If not urgent, the process typically takes 4-6 weeks.

Farewill (England and Wales)

Farewill provide simple online wills in England & Wales. Once you have registered for a free online will with Farewill, you will be sent a link to get started straight away. This link will take you to Farewill’s website where you will be asked a number of questions via their will instruction form. Throughout the process, you can use Farewill’s web chat service should you have any questions.

Your will must be completed within six months of registration in order for it to be free. Farewill may be in touch with you to remind you to write your will during this period. Once you have submitted your instructions, Farewill will check these within 5 working days and contact you if they have any questions. Once your will is ready, you can download a copy, print it and sign and witness it.

Farewill will take your card details but you will not be charged for your will. However, you will be signed up for Farewill’s membership which costs £10 a year after your first year and gives you the option to update your will at any time. Should you not wish to go ahead with this, you can easily cancel at any time in the first year without charge.

McClure Solicitors (England, Wales & Scotland)

McClure Solicitors provide in branch wills in England, Wales and Scotland, and wills via telephone and home appointment in Scotland. They have 14 branches across the UK in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southport and Truro. Once you have registered for a free will, Macmillan will provide McClure Solicitors with your contact details and they will contact you within 10 working days via phone, email or post to arrange your will writing appointment.

Your will must be completed within six months of registration. To be able to meet this deadline, you should have had your in branch, telephone or home appointment within two months of registering.

During your appointment, a will writer from the McClure Solicitors team will ask you several questions and will take your will instructions. They will then send your draft will within 10 working days for your review. Once you’re happy with the will, they will send you a final version along with instructions for signing.

Please note, McClure Solicitors may be able to provide urgent wills but ask that you make them aware of this as soon as possible. If not urgent, the will writing process typically takes 4-6 weeks.

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Is there a deadline for completing my will?

We understand that wills cannot always be written within a short timeframe. In order to benefit from the free will offer, your will must be completed six months after you register for the service.

To meet this deadline, we highly recommend that you book your appointment or submit your will instructions within two months of registering for the service, but sooner than this if possible.

Macmillan may have to refuse payment for wills completed after the six-month deadline.

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What locations does the Free Will Service cover?

The Macmillan Free Will Service is available in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, some of our will writing partners are unable to offer their services in every location. We will endeavour to match you with a suitable partner through our online form or over the telephone. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer this service to residents of the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

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What if I would like to write a joint / mirror will with my partner?

The Macmillan Free Will Service covers the cost of simple joint wills. If you choose to write your will with The Goodwill Partnership, Irwin Mitchell, Hugh James or McClure Solicitors please let them know at first contact or when providing your will instructions. If you choose to write your will with Farewill, please read and follow their advice on wills for couples.

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What if I need an urgent will?

If you need a will urgently, please contact your chosen partner about this as soon as possible to discuss the options available to you. Please note that The Goodwill Partnership does not provide urgent wills.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that any of our partners will be able to complete a will in exceptionally urgent circumstances, and recommend you get in touch with a local solicitor through the Law Society (England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) if our free will offer cannot meet your needs.

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What if my needs are complex and unsuitable for a standard will?

Some of the partners included in the Macmillan Free Will Service are only able to provide standard wills. If your needs are complex, for example you have complicated family circumstances or property abroad, we would recommend selecting one of our solicitor partners (Irwin Mitchell, Hugh James or McClure Solicitors).

Macmillan may be able to cover the cost of a complex will through our partners at McClure Solicitors; however if you choose to write a complex will with Irwin Mitchell or Hugh James, there will be a charge for the additional work. If our free will offer cannot meet your needs, we recommend you get in touch with a local solicitor through the Law Society (England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland.

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Why do I need a will?

Everyone should have an up to date will. A will is a way of looking after the people, causes and charities that you care about after you’ve died; it’s the only way to ensure your wishes are carried out. If you die without a will, you die intestate – this can cause added stress for your loved ones and can also come at a financial cost.

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Does Macmillan get a copy of the will?

Macmillan does not receive a copy of the will.

However, during the will writing process, you will be asked whether you are happy for your chosen partner to share certain information with Macmillan including whether you have left Macmillan a gift in your will and the value of this gift. Having this information helps us to plan for a future where more people than ever are living with cancer.

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Who pays for the will?

Macmillan is covering the cost of simple standard wills sold as part of the Macmillan Free Will Service. If your needs are complex, please read the 'What if my needs are complex and unsuitable for a standard will?' FAQ.

We rely on gifts in wills for over a third of our income. While there is no obligation to include a gift in your Macmillan free will, we do hope that you will consider leaving a percentage of your estate to Macmillan, after taking care of loved ones. All gifts left to us will help fund Macmillan’s services in years to come. We’re very grateful for every gift that we receive, no matter its size.

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If I leave a gift to Macmillan how will it be spent?

Leaving a gift in your will to Macmillan is one of the biggest differences you can make to help people with cancer live life as fully as they can. Any gift, however large or small, helps make it possible for us to be that expert care through a Macmillan nurse, to be a voice at the end of the phone through our Support Line and to provide an online community who are there for each other.

Gifts in wills bring in over one third of our income and help to fund a huge chunk of our services. To find out more about how Macmillan uses money from gifts in wills, read our annual report.

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What if I wish to restrict my gift?

You may restrict your gift, but we ask that you express this as a 'wish' and keep it as broad as possible. For example, specify your county or region rather than the village you live in, or our healthcare services rather than a particular nurse post. This limits the risk of Macmillan losing its right to your gift.

If you would like more information on restricting your gift, please contact our supporter care team on 0300 1000 200.

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Does Macmillan offer any other kinds of financial support?

Whatever cancer throws your way, Macmillan can be right there with you. If you’re living with the financial consequences of cancer, find out more about the ways we can support you on our Making money one less worry page.

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