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Frequently Asked Questions About Legacies

Leaving a legacy

Life is chock full of things you have to do at any given point, the busy nature of work and home lives seemingly jostling for our attention on a day-to-day basis. So it's not surprising that making a will can fall down that list of priorities and feel like a daunting task.

If you're thinking of writing your will and considering a gift to LionHeart, here are some of the questions we hear most often. If there's something we've missed please feel free to get in touch!


Why should I write a will?

The only way to guarantee that you have provided for the most important people and causes in your life, after your death, is to ensure your wishes are set out in a will.

An up-to-date will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected - and helps to prevent your loved ones facing difficult decisions or legal complications.

You may also wish to write a letter of wishes, which is a document that can accompany your will. Unlike your will, a letter of wishes is not legally binding, it provides guidance to the individuals dealing with your estate after your death. A will can potentially become public, but your letter of wishes is a confidential document, so provides an opportunity to detail any preferences so that disputes can be resolved more easily when you're no longer around.

Your solicitor can advise you on the best way to proceed based on your own wishes and circumstances.

How much does it cost to write a will?

Costs can vary depending on whether you're writing a single or a joint will. It's best to involve a professional who can consider all eventualities and advise you accordingly. LionHeart supporters can make or update your will for free using our free wills service.

I already have a will. Can I update it to include a gift to LionHeart?

Yes, you can add a codicil for any minor changes to your will, including the addition of a charity. If there are several changes to make it may be more appropriate to re-write your will. Your solicitor can advise you if a codicil is the best option.

What wording should I use to include a gift to LionHeart?

Your solicitor can advise you on exact wording, but you will need our registered charity details:

Registered name: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Benevolent Fund - LionHeart
Registered address: 1 Cornwall Street, Birmingham, B3 2DX
Registered charity number: 261245

Will my gift be subject to tax?

No, gifts to charities are exempt from Inheritance Tax. Charitable donations will also be taken off the value of your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated, or will reduce your Inheritance Tax rate, if 10% or more of your estate is left to charity. For more information, please visit the HM Revenue & Customs website.

What's the best gift to include to LionHeart in my will?

We are extremely grateful to everyone who chooses to give in such a special way, regardless of the type or amount of gift.

We do ask you to first consider supporting us with a residuary gift (a percentage of your estate) if you can. This type of legacy is the most valuable as its value is unaffected by inflation and allows your gift to go even further.

Alternatively, you may wish to give a pecuniary gift (a specific sum of money). The value of this type of legacy will decrease over time, however, it is possible to Index-Link the sum to safeguard its value regardless of inflation.

Your solicitor will be able to advise you on what wording to use for these gifts.

Can I choose how my gift will be spent?

We always encourage unrestricted gifts as this allows us to use the funds wherever the need is greatest at the time they are received and ensures your gift is used efficiently and effectively. Gifts restricted for specific purposes can cause difficulties, especially if the project or service has finished or changed significantly by the time your gift is received.

Do I need to inform LionHeart of my plans?

Your will is a personal document, we don't expect you to share anything with us about your intentions if you're not comfortable with this.

If you're happy to share with us that you've included a gift in your will, we would absolutely love the opportunity to say thank you for your generosity! Anyone who decides to leave us a legacy is also invited to become a member of our special group for loyal LionHeart supporters - the LionHeart Guild.

I am an Executor for an estate, how do I make a payment from a will to LionHeart?

Please email Faye Smith with your details, your loved one's details and a description of the gift to ensure it is recorded and acknowledged accurately. You can make the payment by donating online or by making a bank transfer (bank details provided on request).