Specialists in palliative care

How to include a Gift in your Will

When you leave a gift to St John’s Hospice in your Will, we promise:  

  • We'll answer any questions honestly and quickly  
  • We won't put you under pressure - this is a big decision to make in your own time  
  • Your loved ones come first - we respect that and won’t try to change it  
  • You don't have to tell us your decision - we respect your right to privacy  
  • You can come and see our service first hand - just let us know  
  • If you want your gift to be spent in an area that’s special to you, we’ll arrange it  

If you need any further information, simply get in touch with Liz Edmondson, our Wills and Legacies Manager. You can ring the hospice on 01524 382538 or email [email protected]

Dying without a Will can create many problems for those left behind, at an already difficult time.

Here are some tips to help you make your Will:
Click on the links above to jump straight to that section, or simply scroll down to read through each point

Use a Solicitor

You may have a family solicitor or Will writing professional you already use. If you are making your will with your partner, you can make a ‘mirror’ (identical) will if they are broadly the same.

Before you meet with the solicitor for will-making advice, it is a good idea to think about:

  • The main things you own – like a house, shares, endowments, savings or life insurance policies – and roughly what they are worth
  • Who will carry out your wishes (Your Executors)
  • What kind of gifts you want to leave the people and the charities you care about


The Executors of your Will are the people who administer your estate after your death. They settle any debts you owe and tell the beneficiaries about their gifts. They also deal with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK and/or the Office of the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland if necessary.

You need to choose people you trust, and they need to be prepared to take on this important responsibility.

You can name a family member, or a friend (including someone benefiting from your will).

Alternatively, you can use a professional like an accountant or solicitor (who will normally require payment from your estate). Or, if you prefer, any combination of relatives, friends and professionals.

Different Kinds of Gifts

Pecuniary gifts are specified sums of money.  

Residuary gifts are made from whatever is left over once gifts of money and specific items have been distributed. You can give the whole of the residue to a person or a charity like St John’s Hospice, or divide it as you wish.

Specific gifts are things, such as a painting, a house, a car or a ring.

Inheritance Tax and Charity Giving

A gift in your will to St John’s Hospice could help reduce the amount of inheritance tax owed on an estate. You don’t have to worry about saving up to pay this tax. It will be paid for out of your estate when you die, from the assets you own at the time.

When thinking about whether your estate will attract inheritance tax, it’s also worth thinking about things like life insurance policies, which you can often write ‘in trust’ meaning the pay-out goes directly to your beneficiaries and not to your legal estate, so it won't be subject to inheritance tax.

We would recommend seeking professional advice from a solicitor, accountant or financial adviser.

If you need any further information, simply get in touch with Liz Edmondson, our Relationship Manager. You can ring Liz at the Hospice on 01524 382538 or email [email protected]


Not at all. Many of our nurses are funded from a gift someone has left in their Will, or a number of smaller gifts, that people leave in their Will. But gifts in Wills also pay for lots of other things too – bedding for our In-Patient Unit, nurses’ uniforms, syringe drivers and nutritious meals for patients. So, whatever the size of your gift – large or small – you can be sure we will use it to wisely to fund our local community care.


Including a gift to St John’s Hospice in your will doesn’t affect how much money you have to provide for old age. Your estate is calculated based on whatever is left after you die. If you arrange your gift to St John’s as a residuary gift, it will only be paid out after all the other gifts you leave to your family or friends have been made.

Both are great. Many people who leave a legacy to St John’s also support our hospice services during their lifetime, through fundraising or giving donations. Others use their wills to support our outstanding local patient care for the first time.

We promise to use your gift wisely and effectively.  We are committed to ensuring that everyone, no matter who they are, where they are, or why they’re ill can receive the best care at the end of their life. Any gift you leave to our work will help us achieve this and benefit generations to come.  Your gift really matters to us.

Your will is a reflection of what matters to you, and for most people that is their family and friends. St John’s Hospice is all about caring for people and their families, and so of course we believe you should think about the people you care about first when writing your will.


Putting a gift in your will to charity doesn’t stop you doing that, especially if the gift is from whatever is left over after all your gifts to family have been made.


We find that most families are proud of the gifts their loved ones leave to their local hospice.

Most people leave their gift to St John’s Hospice without specific conditions so that it can be used wherever it is most needed. And it can be hard to know where that will be 5, 10 or 20 years ahead.


But if a particular service has a special significance for you, we are more than happy to discuss the different options available.


Simply get in touch with Liz Edmondson, our Relationship Manager. You can call Liz at the Hospice on 01524 382538 or email [email protected]

Usually, yes. If you’ve already written a Will, and you want to add a gift to St. John’s Hospice, you can do this by using a Solicitor to draft a document called a Codicil. A Codicil is simply an addition, amendment or supplement to your existing Will.

You don’t have to tell us what you decide – we respect your right to privacy. But if you would like to tell us that would be wonderful. We would love to say thank you, and to keep you informed and inspired by our work.

Circumstances change; we understand that. If you would like to change your mind you can do so. Simply contact your solicitor to make any changes

Jargon Buster

Beneficiary: Any person or organisation that receives a gift in your will.

Bequest/legacy: A gift in your will.

Codicil: An addition or change to an existing will.

Estate: The total sum of all your possessions, property and money (including life insurance policies and shares).

Executor/executrix: The man or woman you ask to administer your estate when you are gone and make sure your wishes are carried out.

Inheritance tax: The tax due on your estate if it exceeds a certain threshold.

Intestate: The word used to describe someone who has died without a will.

Pecuniary bequest: A gift of a specific sum of money in your will.

Probate: This is the legal administrative process of settling your estate after your death. It involves your executors (see above) applying for proof of their legal right to deal with your estate, so that they can settle any outstanding financial obligations, and then distribute your money, property and possessions according to your wishes.

Residuary bequest: A gift of whatever is left over once all other gifts have been made from your estate. You can leave all of the residue or divide it up into portions.

Specific bequest: A gift of a thing, like a house, a car, an antique or a necklace.

Get in touch

If you need any further information, simply get in touch with Liz Edmondson, our Wills and Legacies Manager. You can ring the hospice on 01524 382538 or email [email protected]