Free Will Service

Make your Will with ease

Write or amend your simple Will for free today. Free to use for everyone 18 and over.

Gifts in Wills enable long-term research projects to develop new treatments and cures that could save millions of lives. Most people who use our service leave a gift in their Will to Cancer Research UK.

Three ways to create your Will with us

How we can support you

Common questions

Information for solicitors

Legal guidance after a cancer diagnosis

Administering a Will or paying in donations

Email LegacyOperations@cancer.org.uk or phone 020 3469 8797 if you have questions around administering a Will or want to pay in a donation.

Most of our staff are currently working from home until further notice. Please don't send us anything through the post, as we may not be able to receive or reply to these. 

 

Gifts in Wills Guide

Our guide will give you confidence in how to start thinking about your Will. We recommend this for anyone who's thinking about what they want to leave to the people and causes they care about.

 
 

Your Community Legacy Manager

Our team of Community Legacy Managers are ready to help you with any questions you may have about leaving a gift in your Will. Whether you already have a Will or are considering setting one up for the first time please get in touch.

 

Making your Will

Know what you need to consider at every stage of making your Will.

Why make a Will?

  1. You decide what happens to your ‘estate’ (your money, property and possessions) after you die.
  2. If you don’t make a Will, everything you own will be shared out according to the law – which may not be in line with your wishes.
  3. Making a Will helps you take care of your loved ones financially, letting you decide what and to who, you want to leave behind.
  4. Making a Will reduces the stress on the people who’ll deal with your estate after you’ve died. If you don’t have a Will, you don’t leave any instructions on what should happen to your estate.
  5. A Will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might need to be paid on the value of property and money you leave behind.

How does a Will work?

Your Will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your die. A Will works like a set of legally binding instructions. After you die, any Executors you name use your Will as instructions on how to deal with the money, property and possessions you leave behind.

What age can you write a Will?

You must be 18 or over to write a Will. If you’re on active military service, you’re allowed to write a Will regardless of age.

What type of Will do I need?

The type of Will you need depends on your individual circumstances. To decide the right type of Will for you, you’ll need to consider:

  1. Your relationship status
  2. If your final wishes are the same as your partner
  3. If you have specific instructions on managing any Trusts left in your Will

A Single Will is written for just one person. But you can write a Single Will if you are in a relationship, married or in a civil partnership. In fact, if your partner already has a Will or their wishes differ to yours then a Single Will is often your best option.

A Mirror Will is when a husband, wife or partner make almost identical Wills. For example, leaving everything to each other should one partner die. Or, if both die together, to another agreed beneficiary.

A simple Will lets you outline how you want your estate to be distributed, choose an executor and name a guardian for your children. Cancer Research UK covers the full cost for a simple Will.

A complex Will is a Will that does not leave everything to your spouse or children. A Will can also be considered complex if you have children from a previous relationship or own property abroad. Your Free Will Service solicitor will be able to determine if this is the case. Cancer Research UK partially covers the cost of a complex Will.

How can I reduce my inheritance tax?

Currently, if your estate is worth more than £325,000, the executors of your Will may have to pay inheritance tax at 40%.  A way of reducing this bill is to leave 10% or more of your estate to charity as you may then qualify for a reduced rate of inheritance tax (36% rather than 40%) giving you more control over your own money.

You can calculate your predicted inheritance tax liability, and how this can be reduced with a gift to charity using the government’s inheritance tax calculator

Can you write your own Will?

You can write a valid Will as long as it’s been properly drafted and meets the legal requirements. But writing your own Will can be very complex. There are specific words and terminology that need to be used to avoid any ambiguity. In this case, it would be sensible to turn to professional advice or follow Government advice

How much does a Will cost?

At Cancer Research UK, we have a Free Will Service which allows you to write a Simple Will free of charge. Cancer Research UK pays solicitors (£100+VAT for a single Will or £150+VAT for a mirror Will), Co-op Legal Services and Farewill for each Will written. Most people who use the service leave a gift to Cancer Research UK.

How do you write a Simple Will for free?

You can write a Simple Will for free by using our Free Will Service. We partner with the best Will-writing providers in the UK, so you can write a Simple Will for free.

Ensuring a Will is Valid

There are certain requirements that a Will must meet, to ensure it is valid:

  1. Your Will must be on paper, a 'soft' copy of your Will on a computer is not valid.
  2. Your Will must be signed by you, in the presence of two witnesses, who can also sign your Will in your presence.
  3. These witnesses can be anyone over 18, neither can be a beneficiary of the Will, nor the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary of your Will.
  4. These witnesses do not need to read your Will or be aware of its contents. 

Find more information on the Citizens Advice website here.

Can a married couple witness a Will?

Yes, married couples can witness a Will as long as they’re aren’t beneficiaries or spouses of a beneficiary.

Can witnesses to a Will be related to each other?

Yes, witnesses to a Will can be related to each other - as long as they’re aren’t beneficiaries or spouses of a beneficiary.

Who should keep the original Will?

You can keep the original Will with a solicitor, a Will writing service, the Probate Service (in England and Wales) or keep it yourself. There are pros and cons to all these options, so choose the one that’s safest and most appropriate for you. Wherever you decide to keep the original Will, you should write it down so your Executor knows.

Please visit the Money Advice Service for more information.