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How do I make a Will?

An older couple signing a contract

Leaving a gift in your Will is easy and we will support you every step of the way.

You can request a Guide to making a Will or read on for more information on how to make a Will.

Gifts in Wills are an amazing way of continuing your support long into the future. These gifts come in all shapes and sizes, big and small – with gifts ranging from £200 to £20,000, from 1% of an estate to 100% or anything left over after other gifts have been made.

Thank you for considering leaving a gift to Arthritis Research UK in your Will. You can leave money to family and friends, alongside a gift to charity, in the same Will.

We strongly recommend using a solicitor to draw up your Will. A valid and accurate Will can give you real peace of mind. If you're over the age of 55, we can help you find a solicitor to write a basic Will at no cost to you.

This step-by-step guide will help you when you're thinking about making a Will.

1. Working out what your estate is made up of
2. Making a list of people you'd like to leave gifts to
3. Appointing an executor
4. Understanding the type of gift you'd like to leave
5. Adding Arthritis Research UK to your will
6. Keeping in touch
7. Making sure your will is valid


It's extremely important to keep your Will up to date or it might not reflect your wishes at the time of your death. At such a painful time, this could cause your family and friends more heartache.

It's important to review your Will regularly – at least once every five years so if you have any major life changes, such as getting married or divorced, or having children or grandchildren. These can be accounted for in your Will.


1. Working out what your estate is made up of

It's helpful to work out what you have to leave, taking into account any:

  • property
  • mortgages
  • savings
  • possessions
  • money you are owed.

You may like to fill in a Will Planner (PDF 219KB) and take it with you to a solicitor's appointment.

2. Making a list of people you'd like to leave gifts to

You may like to list the people you want to leave something to (your beneficiaries) as well as gifts you have in mind on the list of executors and beneficiaries. These could be charities you care about, as well as friends and family of course! You can bequeath personal items as well as money or assets.

3. Appointing an executor

An executor (or executor nominate in Scotland) is charged with carrying out the instructions in your will. Ideally you will appoint two and they would be people you can trust, such as family, friends or professional advisers.

4. Understanding the type of gift you'd like to leave

There are three ways in which your gift, big or small, could make a huge difference to future generations.

After you’ve made provision for your loved ones, you can leave a portion of what remains to charity. You could leave a percentage of, or even all of, your estate. This is known as a residuary gift.

You could leave an exact sum of money to charity. This is known as a pecuniary gift. You might suggest to your solicitor or Will-writer that your cash gift is index-linked to ensure that its value increases with inflation.

Or you could leave a particular item, such as property, antiques, paintings, jewellery or shares. That’s known as a specific gift.

5. Adding Arthritis Research UK to your Will

Please see our suggested wording for your Will  which you can give to your solicitor. Any changes must be signed, dated and witnessed, and must refer to the original Will.

For further information on making or changing your Will and leaving a gift in your will to Arthritis Research UK please download our Gifts in Wills information pack or please contact us if you would like a printed copy.

6. Keeping in touch

Leaving a gift to Arthritis Research UK your Will is a highly personal and special gift. Thank you so much.

It's entirely up to you whether or not you inform us of your gift, but it'd be wonderful to know so we can thank you properly. We’d also like to keep you up to date with our work. So will you please tell us?

If you do decide to tell us, just contact us on legacies@arthritisresearchuk.org or 0300 790 0404 to let us know about your gift.

7. Make sure your Will is valid

If you’ve already made a Will, it’s easy to change it and you don't need to pay to amend it. You can simply make your changes on a codicil form (Word 109KB).

Please note that making changes directly to your Will can invalidate the whole document so we strongly recommend that you consult your solicitor.

The wording of gifts may differ in Scotland – your solicitor will be able to advise you on the correct terms.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.