How to write a will

Step 1: Calculating the value of your estate and considering your wishes.

Your estate encompasses everything that you own including your home, contents, insurance and shares, minus any outstanding commitments you may have such as a mortgage. You might also want to consider who you would like to become the guardian(s) of any children you may have and what you would like to happen if any of your beneficiaries die before you. 

Step 2: Preparing the paperwork

After providing for your family and friends, you might like to consider leaving a gift to Five Talents. If you are writing a Will for the first time and want to leave a legacy to Five Talents here are some suggested clauses your solicitor can use:

"I give % of my residuary estate free of all taxes to Five Talents UK, of Kemp House, 152 City RoadEC1V 2NX, registered charity number 1113969 for its general charitable purposes, and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or other duly appointed officials of the charity shall be sufficient discharge to my executors and trustees."

If you would prefer to leave a specific sum of money to Five Talents, replace the words “I give % of my residuary estate” with the words “I give the sum £ (written in both words and numbers) free of all taxes...”

If you have already written a Will but would now like to include Five Talents you can add a bequest to your Will using this codicil document.

Step 3: If you’d like to include Five Talents in your Will, choose the kind of legacy you’d like to leave 

Decide whether you’d like to leave a residual, pecuniary or specific legacy. Of course, it is entirely up to you whether you divide your estate into percentages or specific sums of money. However, a residual legacy is protected from inflation and so the safest way to ensure your gift retains its value. Thinking in percentages also means you don’t have to amend your Will if your circumstances or the value of your estate changes. It may also be helpful for Christians accustomed to tithing their income.

Many people give a proportion of their income to charities regularly. A residuary or percentage gift in your Will is the same principle, from your estate instead of from your income.

Step 4: Choose your executors

If you are writing a new Will, you will need to choose someone to be your executor. They will carry out your wishes after your death. Doing so can be extremely time- consuming and therefore most people choose to have two executors. Make sure that you ask them first.

Step 5: Visit your solicitor

Write a list of questions prior to your visit to your solicitor. This will allow you to discuss the details of your Will or codicil and ensure that your Will is legally binding. Once you are happy you will need to sign and date your new Will or codicil before two independent witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the document.

Step 6: Notify Five Talents (but only if you feel comfortable doing so)

Whilst we understand that some people will prefer to keep their Will private, please feel free to notify us of your decision via our contact form. We’d love to have the opportunity to say ‘thank you' and to share with you the difference your generosity will make.