Making your will: A step-by-step guide

Welcome to our practical guide to making a will

Your friends and family will naturally be first in your thoughts when making a will, but many people take the opportunity to leave a gift to a cause close to their hearts too. In fact, one third of all donations we receive come from people like you remembering us in their will.

We really do appreciate that you have taken the time to consider supporting us in this important way.

Making a will is simpler than you might think and need not be expensive. It can even be free with our Free Will Scheme.

Step one


Making a will - the first step

Once you have decided to make or change a will, the first step is usually to arrange an appointment with a solicitor.

You may have a solicitor you have used before, or the Law Society will be happy to help you find one. Simply call them on 020 7320 5650 or visit their website.

Writing a will need not be complicated or expensive. Typically, a solicitor might charge £150-300 for making a simple will. Or you can even get a simple will written for free using our Free Will Scheme.

Before you visit the solicitor

Before visiting your solicitor, it’s a good idea to know the value of your assets, or what you own. To help you, we’ve included a simple checklist.

It only takes a few minutes to complete but could help to build up a picture of your belongings, and therefore what you might want to include in your will. You might find it helpful to complete the checklist before visiting the solicitor.


Step two


Different types of gift

Your solicitor will go through the different ways you can leave a gift in your will, so you can decide which is right for you and your family.

A gift made in a will is called a bequest. The main types of bequests or gifts you can leave in your will are:


Step three


What words should you use?

You can make or change a will to include a gift to a charity of your choice.

Your solicitor will be able to help you and explain what you need to do.

If you would like to leave a gift to us in your will, your solicitor will want to know the precise form of words to use. We’ve included these below, for your convenience:

I leave the sum of [amount in words] or a [percentage] share of my estate to The Children’s Society, Edward Rudolf House, Margery Street, London, WC1X 0JL, registered charity number 221124 for its general charitable purposes absolutely.

Making a will is the only way to make sure your wishes are fully known and respected. Contact your solicitor today to arrange an appointment.


Free Will Scheme

Our Free Will Scheme

Would you like to find out how to get a simple will written for free through our Free Will Scheme?

Simply get in touch with our helpful Legacies Team and we will send you details of solicitors in your area who can write your will for free. You can also call us on 0300 303 7000.

Get in touch

The scheme is open to anyone aged 55 or over. You are not obliged to leave us a gift in your will, although we very much hope that you would consider it. The scheme covers simple wills only. For more complex wills there may be a charge.

Your estate checklist

We have created a helpful checklist to take with you to your solicitor when making your will.

It is a good idea to keep the checklist with a copy of your will, and let your next of kin and executors know where to find them. 

DOWNLOAD YOUR ESTATE CHECKLIST