Gifts in Wills

Gifts in Wills

Steve Waterhouse

I'm sure that, like me, you're concerned about the future of our planet. You too share a belief that it is important that we leave a thriving natural world for future generations to know and enjoy. That is why making a Will is one of the most important jobs any of us has to do.
Sir David Attenborough
President Emeritus of the Wildlife Trusts
David Attenborough

The future is everything and so is your legacy. You can help nature thrive for the next generation.

We want future generations to continue to enjoy everything that we love and appreciate about Cornwall. Leaving a legacy is so important and helps ensure that our conservation work continues to safeguard our county's wildlife and habitats.

Once you have taken care of family and friends, we hope that you will consider leaving a legacy gift to Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Legacies are a vital funding source for us and whether your gift is small or large; all gifts help us protect Cornwall's wildlife and wild places well into the future. Some of the Trust's most important nature reserves were gifted to us through Wills. Proceeds from legacies have been used for an amazing array of wildlife conservation work, from engaging children through education projects, to vital habitat restoration work.

Some key questions answered

Click the question to reveal the answer...

I’m not wealthy and I want to leave money to members of my family. What are my options for including a gift to charity as well?

It’s important to remember your family and friends but once you have given consideration to the needs of your loved ones, you could consider leaving a small percentage of the ‘residue’ of your estate to causes that are closest to your heart. Cornwall Wildlife Trust will receive the proportion of your estate that you intended, regardless of issues in the future such as inflation.

What types of legacy can I leave?

Residuary bequest: when you wish to give whatever is left (or a share of what is left) after all costs have been met and all pecuniary and specific bequests have been deducted. This is known as the ‘residue’ of your estate.

Pecuniary bequest: when you leave a specific sum of money to a person, organisation or charity. Please remember that inflation can reduce the value of the amount specified.

Specific bequest: when you choose to leave a specific item, such as land, jewellery or even your home.

What about Inheritance Tax? Will others in my Will lose out?

Gifts to charity are tax-free. If you leave a legacy to Cornwall Wildlife Trust the value of the legacy is deducted from your estate before inheritance tax is calculated. This means your gift not only benefits the Trust, it can also reduce your liability to inheritance tax. We recommend you get advice about your Will from a professional Will writer such as a solicitor.

I already have a Will. Can I add to it?

Yes. If you have already made a Will and would like to add a gift to Cornwall Wildlife Trust, your professional Will writer can add your request to your existing Will - this is known as a codicil.

If I want to leave a legacy to Cornwall Wildlife Trust, what information does my solicitor need?

Your solicitor will need to know our charity full name (Cornwall Trust for Nature Conservation Ltd.) and address (Five Acres, Allet, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ) as well as our Registered Charity Number (214929) and the percentage of the residue or the amount of money you would like to leave to the Trust. Please also let us know if you are thinking of leaving us a gift so we can acknowledge your generosity.

Why do I need a Will?

Making a Will ensures that your possessions are given to the people and charities that you have chosen. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure your loved ones are looked after in your Will. Then you may want to think about leaving
a proportion of what’s left to a charity close to your heart. If you do not have a Will, the legal system will decide how your estate should be divided.

What do the different legal terms and phrases uses mean?

Because a Will is a legal document, there are words and phrases that may sound like jargon. Here are some common ones and their definitions:

  • Beneficiary: someone who benefits in your Will.
  • Bequest/legacy: a gift made in your Will; it can be in the form of money, property, stocks and shares or possessions.
  • Codicil: any change or addition that you make to your Will.
  • Estate: the total sum of your possessions, property and money (after debts have been paid) left after your death.
  • Executor(s): person(s) appointed by you to make sure the wishes in your Will are carried out.
  • Inheritance Tax: a tax paid on estates above a certain value.
  • Probate: the legal procedure after death which confirms your Will is valid.
  • Pecuniary bequest: a gift of a specific sum of money.
  • Residue: what is left after payment of all debts, costs and taxes and after pecuniary and specific bequests have been made.
  • Residuary bequest: all or a share of the residue of your estate.
  • Specific bequest: a gift of a particular item or possession.
  • Testator: a person who has made a Will.

If you would like to speak with somebody at Cornwall Wildlife Trust for more information, or would like to let us know that you have remembered Cornwall Wildlife Trust in your Will, please contact James Webb at