Making your will in the UK

A clear, well-written will should ensure that there is no dispute regarding your wishes after your death and employing a solicitor to do the job is advisable. It does not have to be expensive or complicated. Before you go to your solicitor, make sure that you have all the information that they will need – names and addresses of all beneficiaries plus any charity registration numbers, so you can be sure that no-one is left out accidentally. If you have a husband, wife or partner, both of you need to have up-to-date wills. There is usually a reduction in fees if couples make ‘mirror’ wills.

There are various ways of leaving a gift in your will so it is important to decide which type of gift you wish to leave to each recipient:

A ‘residuary’ gift is a percentage or fraction of your estate and means that you do not have to put a precise value on your gift.

A ‘pecuniary’ gift is a specific sum of money.

A ‘specific’ gift is a particular item from your possessions, e.g. a favourite necklace or piece of artwork etc.

As a general rule, it is advisable to split your estate into residuary legacies rather than set sums (pecuniary) as these will keep pace with inflation and this reduces the need for frequent updating of your will. This also has the advantage of making your estate simpler to administer and, consequently, may keep the legal costs down after your death. However, it is important to remember that you may need to update it at some point if your personal circumstances change.

Once you have made your will, you can relax, safe in the knowledge that your affairs are in good order. Keep the document safe and make sure that your executors know where to find it.


Making your will in the USA

Most individuals are able to make a larger charitable gift as a bequest at death through their estate plan rather than outright gifts during their lifetimes. Your legacy can live on through the lives you save. To leave ACTAsia in your will, please note the language below:

Will: If you have a Will already, please consult your attorney for a simple codicil to your Will. We suggest the following language:

Unrestricted Gift: “I give and bequeath to the ACTAsia, the sum of _____ dollars ($ ) or ______percent(%) of my estate, to be used for such uses and purposes as its governing body shall deem appropriate.”


Restricted Gift: “ I gift and bequeath to the Humane ACTAsia, the sum of ______dollars ($ ), or ____ percent ( %) of my estate for the specific purpose of _____________ (describe program, for example, “Survivor Program”), or for such uses and purposes as its governing body shall deem appropriate if said program is not then in existence.”