Making or amending a will is easier than you think
Have you already included us in your will?
Please let us know if you’re planning to leave a gift or have already included us in your will. We will maintain the confidentiality of your intentions, and it means we can let you know how your support will make a difference and helps us to plan our work for the future.
I don’t have a will…
We advise using a solicitor to draw up your will. A qualified solicitor can guide you through any unfamiliar legal language as well as any issues in Probate Law, Inheritance and Capital Gains Tax that may affect your estate. Using a solicitor can give you peace of mind, with the opportunity to set everything out clearly so that any chances of misunderstanding your wishes are minimised.
The Law Society has lots of information on how to choose a solicitor.
Before you seek professional advice, make sure you have:
- A list of all your assets with rough estimates of what they might be worth.
- A list of any outstanding debts you may have.
- A list of beneficiaries, including any charities and their registered charity numbers, you would like to include in your will.
Ideally you should also:
- Decide who you would like to be the executors of your will – these are the people who will carry out the instructions within your will.
- Choose guardians for your children if they are under 18 – but discuss this with the potential guardians before including them in your will.
- Decide whether you would prefer burial or cremation.
- Indicate whether you would like flowers at your funeral or whether you would prefer donations to go to a charity, such as King’s College Hospital Charity.
Once your will has been written and you are happy that it reflects your wishes, it needs to be signed by you and witnessed by two other people, all in the presence of each other. A witness must not be a direct family member (this includes your spouse/civil partner) or a beneficiary in your will. Your solicitor may be able to arrange suitable witnesses on your behalf.
I already have a will…
You can add a codicil to your existing will at any time.
A codicil is a legally valid addition to a will and can be used to make specific changes or amendments, such as replacing an executor or including a new gift, while leaving the remaining instructions untouched.
The codicil needs to be signed and witnessed in the same way as a will, then stored with (but not attached to) the original will to which it relates. A solicitor can advise you or write a codicil on your behalf.
If you want to make numerous changes to your existing will, it may be advisable to write a completely new one. We recommend you discuss this with your solicitor.
Many patients have been so impressed with the treatment they’ve received at King’s that they’ve chosen to honour us in their wills. You can read one of their stories here.