Leave a gift in your Will

Every year, over half of Heart Research UK’s income comes from gifts made in Wills. It’s a lifeline we couldn’t do without. Almost a quarter of gifts in Wills left to us are £100 or less.

We know research works and thanks to gifts in Wills we are able to plan for the future and continue to fund life-saving research. 

 Anyone can leave a gift in their Will and it doesn’t have to be a lot. If every person in the UK with cardiovascular disease left just £1 we would raise £7million. 

Margaret Watson (pictured) worked in the NHS for over 30 years and chose to support Heart Research UK because she understood the need for research into medical conditions. 

In 2006 her great nephew was born with congenital heart disease and had to have open heart surgery when he was only a year old. Margaret was in awe of what could be and had been achieved with the surgery. She was equally impressed with the skill of the surgeons and nursing staff. The intervention greatly improved the quality of life of her great nephew who is now a fit and healthy twelve year old. 

Without gifts like Margaret’s we would not be able to fund projects like this one which is investigating a way to build life-like blood vessels to treat congenital heart disease. These ‘living grafts’ would be used to replace defective heart valves and arteries and would grow with the child, removing the need for further operations as children get older. 

Gifts in Wills also help us to educate surgeons like those who treated Margaret’s great nephew. Our masterclasses help train and inspire the experts of tomorrow, showcasing new methods and giving world-leading surgeons the opportunity to pass on their expertise.  

Gifts in Wills are some of the most important gifts we receive and without them, we would not be able to fund our work. If there is room in your Will for a gift to Heart Research UK, please think about Margaret and her great nephew. 

We hope you find her as inspiring as we do. 

Before you meet with your solicitor, you can use our Will Planner to help you keep track of the things you own, who you want to leave gifts to and who you want to be responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out.  

When writing your Will you need to think about: 

What you own and an estimate of what it is worth 

For example your house, savings, insurance policies etc. It can also be helpful to make a list of what you owe, so always consider outstanding bills and loans, such as your mortgage, when doing your estimate. 

Who your executor(s) will be  

This is the person or people who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. It could be a solicitor, family member or friend. Up to four people can be executors of your will. 

Who you want to leave gifts to and what kind of gift you want to leave 

There are different kinds of gift: 

Pecuniary – a specific sum of money, such as £200. 

Residuary – A percentage of everything left over once all other gifts have been paid, for example 20%. 

Specific – This is a specific item, such as a piece of jewellery or a car 

Where you will keep your Will 

It’s important to keep your Will safe. The solicitor who writes your Will may store it for free. Make sure to tell your executor or a close friend or relative where it is kept. 

Take your Will planner with you to your solicitor along with our recommended wording for gifts to Heart Research UK. 

Why is it important to write a Will? 

A Will makes sure your loved ones are taken care of and your wishes are clear. It makes things simpler for those you leave behind and avoids conflict at an already difficult time. If you don’t make a Will, the government decides how to share out your estate and they might not do it in a way you feel is fair or benefits the people and organisations you want to. You also can’t leave money to charity without a Will. 

Why should I leave a gift to Heart Research UK? 

Over half of our work is funded by gifts in Wills and they enable us to make big plans for the future. If you want to help us develop new treatments and procedures and benefit heart patients as soon as possible, leaving a gift in your Will is a great way to play your part. 

Do I get to decide where my gift is used? 

You can leave a gift to a particular area of work, for example research or education, or to be used in a particular area but the most valuable gifts are those which are unrestricted. This is because we don’t know exactly what will need funding in 5, 10 or 50 years’ time. Leaving your money unrestricted will allow us to put your money to best use, where it is needed the most. If you want to leave a restricted gift then please get in touch and we can discuss what area of our work you would like to benefit. 

What if I want to change my Will? 

If you want to make a simple change you may be able to use a codicil which amends or updates your existing Will. We recommend you always use a solicitor who will be able to make sure that your codicil doesn’t conflict with any of your existing wishes. Download our codicil form here.  

Is there specific wording I need to use? 

It’s best to speak to a legal advisor when writing your Will. The suggested wording we recommend taking to your solicitor if you decide to leave a gift to Heart Research UK can be found at the bottom of this page. 

Do I need to tell you I’ve left a gift in my Will? 

You don’t have to tell us but we would love to hear from you if you have. Sharing your story can inspire other people to leave us gifts and it would be great if we could keep you updated on all the work we are doing. 

Is it true that giving to charity can reduce my Inheritance Tax? 

Inheritance Tax is normally paid if your estate is worth more than £325,000 and is 40% of everything over this amount. Most gifts to charity aren’t subject to Inheritance Tax, so it may reduce or completely remove any Inheritance Tax that needs to be paid. There is also a special Inheritance Tax rate if you give a certain amount to a registered charity or charities. Always speak to your legal advisor if you think your estate may be liable for Inheritance Tax,  and for more information download our guide to inheritance tax. 

Please inform us of a gift as soon as possible. This means we can take the deceased off our donor list so they don’t get any future mailings, as we understand this can often be distressing. 

Please send: 

  • The full name of the deceased 
  • Their last address 
  • The date of death 
  • Executor’s name and contact details 
  • Copy of the Will 
  • Any reason this gift was made 

Administering a gift 

In most cases, we would prefer to receive the sale proceeds of a property or shares gifted to Heart Research UK. However, each case is different so before taking any action to either transfer or sell property or shares, please contact us. 

Tax due on gifts in Wills 

Typically, inheritance tax is not payable on legacies to registered charities. Charities are also exempt from capital gains tax and can reclaim income tax that has been deducted at source. 

Gift Aid does not apply to legacies. 

The rules can be complicated so to avoid the estate paying more tax than is necessary please contact us or consult a professional. 

Payment information  

By Cheque: Please make cheques payable to Heart Research UK and post to Heart Research UK, Suite 12D, Joseph’s Well, Leeds, LS3 1AB 

By Bank Transfer: Please contact us before sending money via bank transfer so we can let you know our details and a reference. 

If you have any questions or want to know more about leaving a gift in your Will to Heart Research UK, give us a call on 01132347474 or click on the button on the right to send us an email.

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