Your legacy questions answered

Leaving a gift in your will is very straightforward and has the potential to transform the lives of future generations. Here’s some common questions and answers people often ask about when thinking about leaving a legacy.

On this page:

How will my gift be used?

You’ll help make world-class research into lung disease happen. You'll help support the 20,000 people who call our helpline each year. And you'll even help us campaign for better care to protect more people from lung disease.

Do I need a will?

Many people die without making a will. If you don’t have one, your estate might not go where you wish, and may cause some tricky problems for those closest to you.

By making your will now, you‘ll know your estate will go exactly where you want and your loved ones will be provided for.

What kind of gift can I leave?

It is completely up to you what gift you decide to leave, however there are two most common types: 

  • Residuary legacy: this type of gift is a share of your estate.
  • Pecuniary legacy: if you would like to leave a specific sum, you can specify this in your will.

Even a small percentage of an estate can make a huge difference to our work. We are so grateful for any type of gift you chose to leave us and we would always recommend that you discuss any decision with your family first.

How do I leave a gift?

We recommend you speak to a solicitor about leaving a gift in your will. All you'll need is our name, address and registered charity number:

  • British Lung Foundation, 73-75 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7ER
  • Registered charity 326730 - England and Wales
  • Registered charity SC 038415 - Scotland

By using a solicitor, you’ll know your wishes will be carried out properly. For simple amendments to an existing will, you may only need to fill out a codicil form.

Do I need to tell you if I've left a gift?

Telling us that you’ve left a gift will help us with future planning. We’d also love the chance to thank you properly for your amazing support.

Can I change my mind?

You are free to change your mind at any time. Your will is personal. Letting us know you plan to leave a gift in your will doesn't commit you. If you change your mind, we'd really appreciate you telling us so we can amend our records.

Can leaving a legacy change how much inheritance tax my estate will pay?

Under current law, if your estate is worth more than £325,000, your beneficiaries will have to pay 40% of the part of it that’s over the threshold to the government.

There are two ways leaving a gift to charity can help reduce your inheritance tax bill.

  1. If you leave gifts to charity in your will, the gift value won’t be counted towards inheritance tax. The same goes for gifts left to your spouse. This could reduce what your beneficiaries have to pay, or remove your inheritance tax liability altogether.
  2. In April 2012, inheritance tax legislation changed, meaning in some situations, anyone leaving 10% or more of their taxable estate to charity may qualify for a reduced rate of inheritance tax – 36% rather than 40%.

To find out more about inheritance tax and estate planning, talk to your solicitor to see how the rules might affect you and your loved ones.

If you would like to talk about this further, please do get in touch on 0300 303 3564 or email [email protected]

If you would like to leave a gift in your will or want more information, you can order your free will guide from us today.

Order your free will guide now