There are three ways to include gifts in your will:
A "pecuniary gift" is a gift of a specific amount of money, for example £1,000.
A "specific bequest" is a particular possession you'd like to leave somebody -examples of this type of gift are cars, record collections or items of jewellery.
A "residuary gift" is a percentage of everything else you own, rather than something specific.
Do I have to leave specific gifts?
You don’t have to leave specific gifts, though it’s your only chance to leave something special to a close friend or loved one, or to remember a charity that's important to you.
What can I leave as a specific gift?
You can leave almost any personal possession as a gift, but it's important that it's described precisely so that it’s clear for your executors and avoids any disputes. Anything not left as a specific gift will form part of your residuary estate.
It's not possible to leave property, businesses or other financial assets (such as stocks, shares or contents of specific bank accounts) as specific gifts through our service. These form part of your residuary estate.
Who can I leave gifts to?
In the UK there is "full testamentary freedom". This means that there are no rules about who you can leave things to in your will.
Gifts to a child under 18 will be held by your executors until they reach adulthood. Your executor can choose to transfer the gift to the child’s parent or guardian for safekeeping at their discretion.
What happens to the specific gifts in my will?
Your executors are in charge of finding the specific gifts in your will and distributing them according to your wishes.
What happens if my specific gift fails?
Specific gifts generally fail if the beneficiary has died, or sometimes if the description is imprecise. If a gift fails, it returns to your residuary estate, to be divided between your residuary beneficiaries.
A gift will also fail if you no longer own it when you die e.g. if you've sold it or given it away.
Leaving gifts of money
Gifts of money, known technically as 'pecuniary legacies' can be left to a person or to a charity.
All gifts of money are given free of inheritance tax on Farewill, which makes sure your beneficiaries get the exact amount you specify. If inheritance tax is owed on your estate, tax on the gifts you leave will be paid out of your residuary estate. Learn more about inheritance tax here.
Gifts of money can only be given to one person or charity at a time. To leave gifts to more than one person or charity, add each gift individually.