Leave a Legacy

Legacies The importance of making a will

If you care about providing for your loved ones after you have gone, making a properly drawn up will is the only way of ensuring that your wishes are fulfilled. Many people wrongly believe that all of their estate will automatically pass to their partner – this is not always true. If you are unmarried then it is certainly not the case.

If there is no will, the law provides for people to be appointed to sort out your estate and divide it among any surviving next of kin according to a set formula (under the ‘intestacy’ laws). The people you wanted to benefit may not receive anything. If there are no next of kin, and you have not drawn up a will, your estate will pass to the Crown.

Making a will is not difficult and need not be expensive. You will need a solicitor to advise you. If you do not currently use a solicitor, the Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to recommend one. Alternatively ask a trusted friend for their recommendation.

Once you have made your will, the solicitors will hold a copy for safe keeping and you will keep a copy. Make sure you let your Executors know where your will is kept.

How you can help the Animal Cancer Trust

Our pets play an important role in our lives. They bring happiness, fun, unconditional love and, sometimes, heartache. We would not be without them. For some they are essential to life e.g. dogs for the disabled or blind and working animals. The Animal Cancer Trust is committed to the fight against cancer in our pets – the largest single killer of our friends.

A legacy in your will ensures that the fight can continue in the future by furthering vital research and education. It will benefit future pets by the provision of improved treatments and better specialist facilities. It will provide hope where previously there was little.

There are a number of ways to include the Animal Cancer Trust in your will:

Leaving part or all the residue of your estate after your dependants have been provided for and any debts have been paid. This method is the most beneficial to the charity as it automatically keeps up with inflation. Leaving a specific sum of money which can be index-linked to preserve its value.

Leaving a part of your estate after the death of your partner. This means that he or she benefits from your estate as long as they live, but after that, part or all of your estate goes to the Animal Cancer Trust. If you already have a will and would now like to include the Animal Cancer Trust, you can ask your solicitor to prepare a short codicil to incorporate your wish. We would be happy to provide suitable wording for your will or codicil if required.

Your estate may be liable to inheritance tax but any gift you make to a UK registered charity such as the Animal Cancer Trust is exempt. In effect this means that the tax payable on your estate is reduced. Your solicitor will be able to advise you.


If you do decide to leave a legacy to the Animal Cancer Trust in your will, please let us know so that we can thank you. It will also help us plan for the future.