Nurse at Guy

How to leave a gift in your will

We’re here to make it as simple as possible for you to leave a gift in your will and support personalised cancer care for future generations.

Leave a gift in your will and help the pioneering Guy’s Cancer team turn imaginative ideas into reality.

Today that’s an app which helps people check their inherited cancer risk. It’s a mobile cancer service bringing care closer to home. It’s an online support group keeping people connected. 

Tomorrow? We can’t wait to find out. By leaving a gift in your will, large or small, you’ll help make it happen.


On this page you’ll find information about:

  • The different types of gift you can leave in your will.
  • How to write a will for the first time.
  • How to change an existing will.
  • Suggested wording you can use to leave a gift to Guy’s Cancer Charity.

If you do decide to leave a gift, we’d love the chance to thank you on behalf of the whole Guy’s Cancer team. Please get in touch to let us know about your intention.


Different types of gift

The most common types of gifts left in wills are:

  • Pecuniary gifts – a specific cash sum
  • Residuary gifts – all or part of your net estate
  • Specific gifts – an object or property.

Every gift, whatever the size, means a great deal to us, to the Guy’s Cancer team, and to the people that they care for.

We’ll do our best to honour any specific requests. But although the Guy’s Cancer team is constantly driving progress in cancer care, none of us can see the future. 

If you’re planning to leave a gift please think about including as few restrictions about how it can be used as possible, so that it can be directed to where the need is greatest. 


How to write a will for the first time

We recommend 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 Tax, and Capital Gains Tax that may affect your estate.

Using a solicitor can give you peace of mind, and you’ll have the opportunity to set everything out clearly so that there are no chances of misunderstanding your wishes.

The Law Society has lots of information on how to choose a solicitor.

Before you seek professional advice, make sure you have these handy:

  • 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 your beneficiaries, including any charities you would like to include in your will, with their registered charity numbers.

Ideally, you should also:

  • Decide who will be the executors for your will – these are the people who will carry out the instructions within your will.
  • Choose guardians for your children if they’re under 18 – but make sure to discuss this with the people you choose before including them in your will.
  • Decide whether you would prefer burial or cremation.
  • Choose whether you would like flowers at your funeral or whether you would prefer donations to go to Guy’s Cancer Charity.

Once your will has been written and you’re happy that it reflects your wishes, you need to sign it in front of two other people, who will act as witnesses. 

A witness must not be a direct family member (this includes your spouse or civil partner) or a beneficiary in your will. 

Your solicitor may be able to arrange suitable witnesses on your behalf if you’re not sure who to ask.


How to change an existing will

You can add something called a codicil to your existing will at any time.

A codicil is a legally valid addition to a will that can be used to make specific changes or amendments, such as replacing an executor or including a new gift, while leaving the rest of your 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 lots of changes to your existing will, it may be best to write a completely new one. We recommend you discuss this with your solicitor.