A Will is a document which allows you to outline what happens to your belongings and ensures your wishes for your assets are granted when you pass away.
Below we answer some common questions about considering and writing your Will.
Why should I write a Will?
A Will is probably one of the most important documents you will ever write. It allows you to outline what happens to your belongings and your wishes when you pass away.
A Will is the best way to protect and provide for your loved ones, as not having a proper Will can leave them to pick up the pieces regarding your belongings, and can result in “intestacy” which means that your estate is divided by rules set out in law. Those who are not recognised formally as family (unmarried partner or step children) do not have automatic rights under these laws.
Having a Will helps to prevent those who are left behind from having to pick up the pieces, at an already difficult time.
How much does it cost?
Writing a Will allows you to protect your family, and protect a cause that you care about. A simple Will can cost around £70-£80, with a mirror Will (for couples) costing around £120-£150.
Your Will should be written by a professional – like a solicitor or a professional Will-writer, to identify any mistakes that could nullify your Will or cause delay when the time comes.
Our supporters can take advantage of our free Will-writing service, where you can write your Will free of charge. Those who use the service are under no obligation to leave a gift to RBL in their Will, but it would really help our vital work if you are able to consider doing so.
To find out more about our free Will-writing Service, click here.
Why should I leave a gift to RBL?
Giving money to RBL in your Will is a great way to leave a great legacy for the future. You’ll be helping us to continue our vital work with the Armed Forces community. You’ll be part of our pledger community, and last year generated £23.8m from gift in Wills to help.
Also, we honour every person who leaves a gift in their Will to the Royal British Legion, by recording their name the Book of Remembrance. The Book is on permanent display in our Head Office at 199 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1AA, and can be viewed by family and friends during the working week from 9am until 5pm. Please contact our Supporter Care team by calling 0345 845 1945 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before arranging a visit.
When should I make a Will?
How do I leave a gift to RBL?
To leave a gift to in your Will, the most simple way to do this is to take our Registered Charity Number, which is 219279, to your solicitor and tell them that you'll like to leave a gift to RBL.
A pecuniary gift is a fixed sum of money left to RBL. We suggest this wording:
“I give the sum of [....................] pounds (£) free of Inheritance Tax to the Royal British Legion (Reg Charity No: 219279) of Haig House, 199 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1AA absolutely for its general charitable purposes and the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer or the proper officer for the time being of the Royal British Legion shall be a complete discharge to my executors.”
A residuary gift is a remainder, or a percentage of the remainder of your estate, once other payments have been made.
We suggest this wording:
“I give [………………..](%) of the residue of my real and personal estate to the Royal British Legion (Reg Charity No: 219279) of Haig House, 199 Borough High Street, London SE1 1AA absolutely for its general charitable purposes and the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer or the proper officer for the time being of the Royal British Legion shall be a complete discharge to my executors.”
As a charity, we cannot give legal advice, and would recommend checking the above wording with your solicitor or legal adviser before signing.
Whatever you decide to leave in your Will, you’ll be supporting our Forces family for generations to come.
What do I need to think about when making a Will?
You should think about such things as:
- how much money and what property and possessions you have, for example, property, savings, occupational and personal pensions, insurance policies, bank and building society accounts, shares;
- who you want to benefit from your Will. You should make a list of all the people to whom you wish to leave money or possessions. These people are known as beneficiaries. You also need to consider whether you wish to leave any money to charity – like RBL;
- who should look after any children under 18; and
- who is going to sort out the estate and carry out your wishes as set out in the Will. These people are known as the executors.
How can I change my existing Will?
You can make a simple change to your Will by using a codicil form to add a bequest to your Will, or by making a larger change by updating your Will with the help of a solicitor.
You can find a solicitor by requesting a free Will-writing pack to find a, and request information to find a local solicitor who’ll be able to assist.
Can I decide how my gift will be spent?
The ever-changing needs of the Armed Forces community mean that a gift left in a Will is usually unrestricted – which means we can use the funds where the need is greatest, at the time.
If you’ve a specific area or RBL service that’s supported you or a loved one that you’d like your gift to go towards, please contact us via email@example.com, or give us a call on 0345 845 1954 and we can talk about the best way to support you.
We have to be mindful that if a gift is restricted and the service or project comes to end, we will need to get in touch to discuss how to use it.
What if I don’t have a lot to give, is it worth leaving a gift to RBL in my Will?
Absolutely! Gifts in wills – no matter their size will go towards the 90,000 people who turn to us for help every year. We will ensure that no-one who has served will be disadvantaged because of the sacrifices they have made. Your gift will help us to be there for our Forces family for generations to come. Even 1% of your estate could make a real difference to serving and ex-serving personnel.
What if I don’t have a lot to give, is it worth leaving a gift to RBL in my Will a gift in my Will to charity affect Inheritance Tax?
If an individuals estate is worth more than £325,000 then Inheritance Tax may be payable but most legacies and gifts in Wills to Charities aren’t subject to Inheritance Tax and a gift in your Will to charities can reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax payable by your estate
You can find out more about Inheritance Tax, by visiting the HMRC/Government’s website.
For information on your individual inheritance tax situation you should speak to a professional, such as a solicitor, qualified will writer or an accountant.
Do I have to tell RBL my plans?
We value every supporter who makes the decision to leave a gift to RBL in their Will. You do not have to tell us your plans, but we’d love to be able to thank you if you do decide to leave a gift to RBL. If you do decide to let us know, you'll become part of our Pledger community and receive an exclusive Poppy brooch – reserved only for those who have left a gift in their Will to RBL.
If you've already pledged a gift to RBL, but haven't let us know, you can do so by completing our online form.
Ready to get started?
- Request or download a Will Guide to find out more about our free Will-writing service and leaving a gift to RBL.
- Complete our online form to request a list of local solicitors in your area who can write or update your Will for free
- Go online to write your Will with our trusted partner, Farewill
- For more information, call Supporter Care on 0345 845 1945 or email firstname.lastname@example.org