Will making and codicils
Making a Will or updating your existing Will is the only way to ensure that those you love will be looked after and that your money benefits the people or causes that you really care about.
What you need to know
- It is important to get your will right as it decides what happens to your assets when you die.
- Start by listing everything you could include in a will including property, money and other assets. Your will should deal with all of your property. If it does not, then some of it could pass to people who you did not intend it to.
- You should think carefully about who you want to benefit: friends, family, your favourite charities etc, and note their names and addresses.
- You should decide on your executors, who will be responsible for sorting out the estate: it is usual to appoint two executors, in case one is not available when the time comes; they are usually family members, trusted friends or a professional advisor such as a solicitor.
- Your will should be clear as you will not be around to explain what it means.
- You should follow the laws of will making. These set out steps you must take when making your will and are there to protect people who make wills. For example, you have to sign the will and get it properly witnessed. If your will is not legal, it could be null and void.
- Review your will on a regular basis to check that it is up to date.
- The best way of making a valid will is to ask a professional advisor, such as a solicitor. They will be able to discuss your wishes with you and prepare a will which follows the laws of will making.
- Although it may be tempting to make a homemade will, these can cause problems when the time comes. If there is a problem with your will, only the court can provide a definite answer. This can be expensive and distressing for the people involved.
For help finding a solicitor visit the Law Society website.
Already made a Will?
Many people make a Will and assume that's all they need to do. However, circumstances can change over the years and so it is always advisable to take a fresh look at your Will every few years to ensure it meets your current needs.
Changing your Will
If you have already made your Will and decide that you would like to add a gift to Dogs Trust, a codicil is a good, inexpensive way to do so. Adding a codicil to your Will enables you to leave a donation to Dogs Trust whilst ensuring that the other provisions remain untouched and you won't have to pay for your Will to be completely rewritten.
To speak to someone in confidence about leaving a gift in your will, get in touch with our Supporter Relations Team:
Call us on 020 7837 0006
You can also write to us at Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin House, 17 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7RQ.