How to leave a gift in your will

A gift can be as small or big as you like – all will help us provide Admiral Nurses for everyone who needs one.

If you are writing a new Will, you will need to find a solicitor to help you draw this up. See ‘How do I choose a solicitor’ below.

You will need to think about a few things before making your Will:

Decide who will be named as your executors; the people who will make sure your wishes are fulfilled.

Calculate the value of your assets; make a note of your possessions from small items such as jewellery to larger assets including property, savings and investments.

Choose the family and friends you’d like to remember. After them, consider whether you would like to leave a gift to charity.

If you wish to include Dementia UK in your Will, you will need to make a note of our name, address and registered charity number:

Registered name: Dementia UK

Address: Dementia UK, Resource for London, 2nd Floor, 356 Holloway Road, London, NY 6PA

Registered Charity number: 1039404

A valid Will must be…

  • in writing
  • signed by testator (a person who has made a will or given a legacy)
  • signed by two witnesses present at the same time
  • NB: The testator must have ‘capacity’, i.e: he was not subject to undue influences.

‘How do I choose a solicitor?’

To find a solicitor in your local area you can visit:

Remember a Charity;

Law Society at or by calling 020 7242 1222

A solicitor will be able to advise you on leaving charitable gifts when making a Will. Before enlisting a solicitor, check how much they charge and, if possible, get recommendations from those around you. You may be entitled to legal aid if you are 70 or over; disabled; a parent of a disabled person and wish for that person to be provided for in the Will; or a single person that wishes to appoint a guardian in the Will. More information can be found at your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

‘I’ve already got a Will, how do I add you into it?’

If you already have a Will but wish to amend it to include Dementia UK, you can fill in a codicil form and store this with your Will. If you don’t already have one, we can post you a copy of our codicil form or you can download and print it here. For further information on amending your Will, we suggest you speak to your solicitor.

A codicil is an additional supplement added to the Will, which makes some alterations but leaves the rest of it intact. A codicil must be signed and witnessed in the same way as the original Will; the witnesses do not have to be the same people. You may add as many codicils as you wish to your Will. However, they are only suitable for very straightforward changes. If there are complicated changes to be made, it is advisable to make a new Will.

‘How much should I leave to you? How much do other people leave?’

This is completely up to you, a gift can be as small or big as you like – all funds will help us provide Admiral Nurses for families who need one. There are different types of gifts that people decide to leave, from lump sums to a specific item of value.  Gifts are generally specified in the following categories:

Residuary gift: a gift of any portion of your estate that remains after payment of debts, administration expenses and distribution of any specific gifts.

Pecuniary gift: a gift of a specific amount of money you desire to donate. Such gifts can be expressed to be ‘index linked’ so as to allow the sum gifted to hold its value in line with inflation.

Specific gift: a gift of a specific item you wish to leave, e.g. jewellery, artwork or furniture.

Many supporters choose to leave a share of their estate (a residuary gift) for the simple reason that it keeps pace with inflation and enables you to ensure that your family and friends are cared for.

 ‘Do I need to tell you how much I’ve left to you in my Will?’

Not at all, your decision is completely private. However if you’d like to let us know then please feel free to do so.

‘Does a charitable gift in my Will reduce inheritance tax?’

Legacies to charity are free from inheritance tax so can, in some circumstances, reduce the amount of inheritance tax that might otherwise be payable on the donor’s estate. If a donor leaves 10% of their net estate to charity, the rate of inheritance tax applied to the donor’s taxable estate is reduced from 40% to 36%, so:

  • reduces the overall inheritance tax bill
  • means it costs less to give to charity

Charitable legacies are tax free so executors should not deduct inheritance tax from the amount the charity receives. The  Money Advice Service website has some more detailed information on inheritance tax, but please speak to your solicitor if you have any specific questions.

‘How do I know my gift will help people who have dementia?’

For every £1 we receive, we spend 71p on helping families face dementia, 28p on raising the next £1 and 1p on governance. You can read more about our vision of compassionate and expert care for those affected by dementia here

 Our Admiral Nurses work in the community across the country and on our national helpline Admiral Nursing Direct. Admiral Nurses provide the specialist dementia support that families need.  When things get challenging or difficult, our nurses work alongside people with dementia, and their families: giving them one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions. The unique dementia expertise and experience an Admiral Nurse brings is a lifeline–it helps families to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.  Most work for the NHS in communities, helping people with dementia to stay at home for longer. They also work in other settings, including care homes, hospitals and hospices.

  • £1,400 would provide the funds for the helpline for two Sundays, helping on average twenty six families on a day when people can feel most alone with nowhere else to turn.
  • £3,000 could ensure a nurse has access to a full year’s programme of professional development and masterclasses, ensuring they can continue to lead dementia support services in their local area.
  • £5,000 would ensure over 100 families could get support when they need it most by phoning Admiral Nursing Direct,
  • £5,600 could provide the funds for the helpline for eight Sundays, helping on average over 100 families on a day when people can feel most alone with nowhere else to turn.
  • £10,000 could pay for a new Admiral Nurse to support five families a day for 10 weeks

‘What if I decide to change my mind?’

That is absolutely fine, we understand circumstances may change and there may be a time when you need to take Dementia UK out of your Will. This is your choice and we completely respect it.

‘I want to include you in my Will because I have been diagnosed with dementia, how do I go about doing this?’

Having dementia need not stop you making a Will, providing you have what is called ‘mental capacity’. This means you:

  • understand information given to you
  • are able to retain that information long enough to be able to make a decision
  • can weigh up the information available to make a decision and can communicate the decision.

For more information, you can read the Government advice on mental capacity here  or contact your solicitor or your GP.

Contact with Dementia UK about gifts in Wills

‘If I put you in my Will, will I get lots of mail begging for more money?’

Please let us know your contact preferences; if you’d prefer not to receive fundraising post this is absolutely fine. If you decide to include Dementia UK in your Will, it would be wonderful if you could let us know – so we can thank you properly!

‘I’ve requested your booklet, when do I need to make a decision by?’

There is no time limit, you do not need to rush to make a decision. If you would like more information on Admiral Nursing, Services in your area, Admiral Nursing Direct helpline or any aspect of our organisation, please let us know.

‘I’ve requested your booklet but decided it’s not something I’m interested in’

That is absolutely fine, please let us know so that we will not contact you again about gifts in Wills.

‘How do I contact you about gifts in Wills?’

If you would like to talk to us about leaving a gift in your Will, or about our work at Dementia UK, please contact our supporter care team on 0300 365 5500 or email