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Animal Care Assistant holding a black and white cat © RSPCA photolibrary

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about leaving a gift in your Will to us, you may find the answer here.
 

Why should I leave a gift to the RSPCA?

If you believe in protecting animals from cruelty then leaving a gift in your Will to us is a great way to help us do just that.


Gifts we receive make a real difference to vulnerable animals. They will always need us, and your gift will always matter.

 

Can I have a say where and how I would like my gift to be used?

Gifts that are ‘unrestricted’ (i.e. that we can use wherever they’ll make the biggest difference) are the most valuable to us as they can be used where they're most urgently needed.


You can also leave a gift in your Will to a particular area of our work such as animal centres, campaigning, education, inspectors or a certain geographical area. If you’d like to do this, please get in touch.
 

What type of gift can I leave?

We're hugely grateful for every gift and there are three main types of gift you can leave:

  • A residuary legacy is a percentage of whatever is left over from an estate after debts, funeral expenses, administration costs, and all other gifts have been paid. This can be any percentage you like. Many people choose this type of gift as it ensures their loved ones are taken care of first.
  • A pecuniary legacy is a fixed sum of money that can be any amount, big or small. When it comes to protecting animals from cruelty, every gift counts.
  • A specific legacy is a gift of a particular item, such as property or an item of jewellery.
     

Why is it important that I write a Will?

A Will can ensure that when you die, your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are clear to all. It can also make things simpler for those you’ve left behind.


A Will covers everything from what you leave to family and friends, to whether you'd like to remember a charity such as ours and even your funeral arrangements.


What’s more, problems can arise if you don’t make a Will. Not least, in the absence of a Will, the government will decide how to share your estate. They may not do so in a way you feel is fair, or in line with your values and beliefs.

 

How much does it cost to write a Will?

The cost of legal services can vary, but is unlikely to be more than around £130 for a simple Will. We recommend you seek legal advice to ensure your Will carries out your wishes and all the legal formalities are complied with.


In certain circumstances some legal advisers offer a reduced rate for the preparation of a Will or Codicil, a legally binding document used to amend or update a Will.


Find a local adviser using either the Law Society or STEP websites.

 

Do I need to use specific wording?

We always recommend speaking to a legal adviser when making or amending a Will, but we do have suggested wording (PDF 52KB) that you can use, depending on the type of gift you want to leave.


Whatever type of gift you choose, your legal advisor will also need to know our full name (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), address (Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS) and charity number (219099).
 

What if I want to change my Will at a later date?

If the change is simple, this can be done with something called a Codicil – a legally binding document used to amend or update a Will. For more complicated changes a new Will may be necessary.
 

What is Inheritance Tax?

Generally, Inheritance Tax is paid if a person’s estate is worth more than £325,000 when they die. This is called the ‘Inheritance Tax threshold’.


However, most gifts to charity in Wills aren't subject to Inheritance Tax.


If you believe your estate is liable to Inheritance Tax, we recommend you speak to your legal adviser.


To find out more about how Inheritance Tax might affect your Will, visit the Government’s website or download our Inheritance Tax information sheet (PDF 44KB).
 

Who can be an Executor of a Will?

Anyone can be appointed as an Executor including a relative, friend or legal adviser. It can even be us, in certain circumstances. Please phone us on 0300 1230 239 if you would like to discuss appointing us as your Executor.
 

Should I tell you that I’ve left you a gift?

If we know whether you intend to remember us in your Will, we can plan better for the future. Let us know by filling in our pledge form online or download the pledge form (PDF 48KB).

We could benefit our children as well as the causes we hold dear

Initially we didn’t feel we could include a gift to charity as our concern was for our family after we’ve gone. But then we learned about residuary gifts where we could benefit our children as well as the causes we hold dear to our hearts – so we’ve provided for our children and yet been able to leave a percentage of our estate to charity too.

Pauline and Cliff Ride, Hampshire


A guide to protecting vulnerable animals with your Will

We hope you’ve found the answers you were looking for, but don’t forget you can always get in touch using the details below. We’ve also created a useful guide to supporting our work with animals with a gift in your Will. It’s full of useful information and other people’s reasons for remembering us in their Wills.


Getting in touch

If you have any questions about remembering us in your Will, we’re here to help. Just get in touch using the following contact details:

Email: giftsinwills@rspca.org.uk
Phone: 0300 123 0239
Post: RSPCA, Legacy Team, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS