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Step by step guide to making your Will

Thank you for considering leaving a gift to Barnardo's in your Will. You can leave money to family and friends, alongside a gift to charity, in the same Will.

Barnardo's strongly recommends using a solicitor to draw up your Will. A valid and accurate Will can give you real peace of mind. We can help you find a solicitor to write a basic will at no cost to you, if you are over the age of 55.

This step-by-step guide will help you when you're thinking about making a Will.

  1. What does your estate comprise of?
  2. Who would you like to leave gifts to?
  3. Appoint an Executor
  4. What type of gift would you like to leave?
  5. Adding Barnardo's to your Will
  6. We would like to thank you
  7. Ensure your Will is valid
It is extremely important to keep your Will up to date. Otherwise it might not reflect your wishes at the time of your death. At such a painful time, this could cause your family and friends more heartache. It's important to review your Will regularly - at least once every five years so if you have any major life changes, such as getting married or divorced, or having children or grandchildren these can be accounted for in your Will.

1. What does your estate comprise of?

It is helpful to work out what you have to leave, taking into account any property, mortgages, savings, possessions or even money you are owed. You may like to fill in our Estate checklist in our downloads section and take it with you to a solicitors' appointment.

2. Who would you like to leave gifts to?

You may like to list the people you want to leave something to (your beneficiaries) as well as gifts you have in mind on the list of Executors and beneficiaries. These could be charities you care about, as well as friends and family of course! You can bequeath personal items as well as money or assets.

3. Your Executors

An Executor (or Executor Nominate in Scotland) is charged with carrying out the instructions in your Will. Ideally you will appoint two and they would be people you can trust, such as family, friends or professional advisers.

4. What type of gift do you want to leave?

If you wish to leave a gift to charity, consider whether you wish to leave a residuary, pecuniary or specific gift.

5. Adding Barnardo's to your Will

Please see our suggested wording for your Will which you can give to your solicitor. Any changes must be signed, dated and witnessed, and must refer to the original Will. For further information on making or changing your Will and leaving a gift in your Will to Barnardo's please download our Gifts in Wills information pack or please contact us if you would like a printed copy.

6. We would like to thank you

Leaving money to Barnardo's in your Will is a highly personal and special gift. It is entirely up to you whether or not to inform us of your gift. However, it would be wonderful to know so we are able to thank you and keep you up to date with our work. Please email us or call us on 020 8498 7880 to let us know about your gift.

7. Ensure your Will is valid

Please note that making changes directly to your Will can invalidate the whole document. We strongly recommend, therefore, that you consult your solicitor. The wording of gifts may differ in Scotland - your solicitor will be able to advise you on the correct terms.

For information on Scots Law please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Request a Gifts in Wills information pack

Info pack

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Thomas Barnardo was a real life super hero; he helped thousands of vulnerable children and his legacy still exists today

Jessica Godber