Frequently asked questions

Do you have questions about tax or legal terms? Our Will FAQs section has lots of useful information when it comes it writing a will and including a gift.

How do I choose a solicitor?

We have information about choosing a solicitor on our writing or updating your will page.

What basic information do I need to include to leave a gift in my will?

The most important bits of information to include are our name, address and registered charity number:

The Back-Up Trust, 4 Knightley Walk, SW18 1GZ.
Registered Charity No. 1072216 and SC040577

If you do decide to leave a gift to help people affected by spinal cord injury in your will, there are two main types of gift you might choose – a share of your estate (residuary gift) or a set sum (pecuniary gift).

Here is the suggested wording you will need in your will. Take this along to an appointment with your solicitor or legal professional.

  • To leave a residuary gift (share of your estate):
    “I leave………per cent of the residue of my real and personal estate to The Back-Up Trust, 4 Knightley Walk, SW18 1GZ, registered charity numbers: 1072216 and SC040577.”
  • To leave a Pecuniary gift (set sum):
    “I leave the sum of ………..(in words) pounds £……. (in figures) to The Back-Up Trust,
    4 Knightley Walk, SW18 1GZ, registered charity numbers: 1072216 and SC040577.”

Can I simply change my existing will?

Leaving a gift to Back Up simply involves adding a short paragraph called a codicil to your will. When writing or updating your will we strongly advise that you always use a qualified solicitor to assist you.

You must sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a will.

Are gifts in wills liable for inheritance tax?

No. Any amount you leave to a charity is exempt from inheritance tax so gifts in wills to charities are tax efficient.

The threshold at which inheritance tax is payable changes from time to time. But if your estate is going to attract inheritance tax, any gift you leave to Back Up will be deducted from your estate before any tax liability is calculated. So, if your estate is £20,000 over the amount allowed as tax-free, and you leave Back Up £2,000, then inheritance tax will only be payable on £18,000.

Furthermore, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to a charity, you’ll be taxed at a lower rate (36% rather than 40%) on any part of your estate that qualifies for inheritance tax.

Can I choose what the gift in my will is spent on?

While we welcome legacies that can be used at the charity’s discretion, we’re also very happy to accept gifts for a particular use.

That means you can choose where and what your money is spent on – such as our courses or education inclusion services, or the support we offer at a particular spinal cord injury centre in your area.

You may want to discuss this with us in advance, in which case don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.

How will Back Up use gifts in wills?

Read our impact report to see just how far our supporters’ gifts went last year. You can also see different examples of how your gift could be spent to make a difference to our work.


Leaving a gift in your will is extremely easy but unfortunately the language used is not as simple, so we’ve “translated” some commonly used terms for you:

  • Administrator: This is someone who is appointed by law to settle your affairs if you die with no will.
  • Beneficiary: This is a person, or an organisation, to whom you leave something in your will.
  • Bequest: Another word for a gift left in your will.
  • Codicil: A codicil is a simple document used to make changes to an existing will.
  • Confirmation: See Probate.
  • Estate: Your estate is the total sum of your personal possessions, property and money once all your debts have been paid.
  • Executor: This is the name given to the people that you appoint to ensure your final wishes are carried out.
  • Inheritance tax: This is a 40% tax deducted from estates with a value of certain thresholds (currently £325,000). Money left to your spouse or a charity is not taxed. Anyone leaving 10% or more of their taxable estate to charity may qualify for a reduced rate of inheritance tax – 36% rather than 40%.
  • Legacy: Another word for a gift left in your will.
  • Pecuniary gift: This is a set sum of money left in your will
  • Probate: (Confirmation in Scotland) This is the legal process to establish whether your will is valid  – a term used when talking about applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs.
  • Residue: This is what’s left of your estate after any outstanding debts have been paid off and gifts distributed to beneficiaries.
  • Residuary gift: This is a share of your estate
  • Specific gift: This is a specific item of value such as a family heirloom.
  • Testator/testatrix: This is the name given to a person who has made a will.

What steps should I take next?

If you’re ready to talk to a solicitor, see our writing or updating your will page.

If you would like to talk to someone first, or need more information, you can request some more information about leaving a gift in your will.

Enquire about gifts in wills


Do you have questions about leaving a gift in your will to Back Up? Call Janet in the office on 020 8875 1805 or send her an email.