Need help writing a will? Take a look at our frequently asked questions.

Children playing

Why should I make a will?

It is not a legal requirement to have a will but it is the only way to ensure that your estate (property, money and personal possessions) is dealt with in the way you wish. If you die without a will it will mean that you have died ‘intestate’ and standard HMRC rules will determine who should handle your affairs and who will inherit your assets.

Having an up to date will, will give you peace of mind that your family, friends and any charities you may choose to support will be provided for in the way you intended.

Is making a will expensive?

Making a will doesn’t have to be expensive. The Children’s Society is part of the National Free Wills Network which offers our supporters the opportunity to have their will written or updated for free. 

Do I need a solicitor?

We would always recommend consulting a solicitor to ensure that your will is valid and your wishes are carried out as you plan. 

To get the most out of the meeting with your solicitor it is a good idea to spend some time preparing beforehand.

What are the different types of legacy I could leave? 

There are several different types of legacies but the main ones are: 


A gift representing a percentage share of the estate after all other legacies have been made and all debts paid. One advantage of this type of legacy is that it is inflation proof so you are less likely to need to update your will later. This is a particularly popular way to leave a gift to a charity. 


This is a gift of a fixed amount of money. Remember that the value of your gift will reduce over time. 


A gift of a particular item or items such as jewellery or antiques.

Why should I leave a legacy to The Children’s Society? 

Gifts in wills from generous supporters, such as yourself, account for a third of our voluntary income. Without it we would not be able to help as many children as we do. Gifts in wills enable us to continue to support vulnerable children and young people throughout England

What details do I need to include, if I want to leave a gift to you?

You will need to include our address and registered charity number;

The Children’s Society

Edward Rudolf House

Margery Street



A charity registered in England (221124)

What form of wording do I need to leave a gift in my will to you?

Residuary Legacy

1.1 I give all (or... share) of my estate (out of which shall be paid my funeral and testamentary expenses and my debts) [and any property over which I have power of appointment] to The Children’s Society, (registered charity no 221124) and of Edward Rudolf House, Margery Street, London, WC1X 0JL 

and I DECLARE that the receipt of the Treasurer or appropriate officer

shall be a complete discharge to my trustees.

1.2 I FURTHER DECLARE THAT if before my death The Children’s Society has changed its name or amalgamated with or transferred all its assets to any other body then my Trustees shall give effect to the gift as if it has been made to the body in its changed name or to the body which results from the amalgamation or to which the transfer has been made. 

Pecuniary Legacy

1.1 I give to The Children’s Society (registered charity no 221124) of Edward Rudolf House, Margery Street, London, WC1X 0JL, the sum of £...... to be applied for its general purposes, and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer at The Children’s Society shall be good and sufficient discharge.

1.2 (as above)

What if I have already made my will?

If you have already made your will but would like to include a gift to us, you will need to add a ‘codicil’. This is a simple process but we would always recommend consulting a legal professional when amending your Will to avoid any errors which may invalidate it. Contact your solicitor for more information.

It is also important to regularly review your will and update it to reflect any changes in your personal circumstance.

What is Inheritance Tax?

In some cases Inheritance Tax (IHT) is payable on estates when someone passes away.  Many estates do not bear IHT because they are valued below the threshold at which the tax is levied.  Donations made to registered charities are usually exempt from IHT and the inclusion of charities in a will can reduce the amount of IHT to be paid. This is a complex issue, more detailed information can be found on the HMRC website

What if I've already left a gift to The Children’s Society in my will

Thank you so much for your generous gift. This will make an enormous difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people who need us. We understand that this is a personal matter but if you could let us know it will help us to plan for the future. You can do this by emailing our legacy team at or by calling us on 0300 303 0700.

What should I do if I'm acting as an executor of a will? 

Please visit our Advice for Professionals and Executors section for more information and advice. 

I'd like to support you in other ways 

We greatly appreciate any support you would like to give us. There are many ways you can get in involved from fundraising to volunteering and campaigning

Can I have a say where and how I would like my gift to be used?

In order to use funds where they are needed most, we would prefer it if gifts weren’t restricted to a specific area of our work. If a supporter would really like to do so we would suggest that this is written as a preference rather than a condition. This will ensure that we can still use their generous gift even if our services change in the future. 

Do I have enough money to leave a gift in my will?

We are grateful for every gift we receive, whether it is large or small. If you would like to leave a gift to us but are concerned about the size of your estate and how far it may stretch, we would recommend a ‘residuary’ legacy rather than a fixed ‘pecuniary’ amount. 

Residuary legacies represent a percentage of the remaining estate after all payments have been made and all other gifts distributed. You do not need to worry about setting aside a specific amount. This option will also ensure that the value of your gift is not reduced by inflation over time.

I have a family and want to ensure they come first 

We completely understand that your family and friends come first. We ask only that you might consider leaving something to The Children’s Society, after you have ensured your loved ones will be taken care of.