Write your will for free
Do you need to write a will but you're worried about the cost? Shelter Scotland has partnered with expert will writing services so you can write your will for free.
Our free will writing services cover the cost of a simple will. There may be an additional cost for wills for more complex estates.
You're under no obligation to leave a gift to Shelter Scotland when using these services. However, we'd really appreciate it if you decide to remember us in your will.
Face to face
The National Free Wills Network can put you in touch with trusted solicitors in your local area who can help you write or amend a simple will at no cost.
Request a free will writing pack from the National Free Wills Network. This pack has details of local solicitors who you can contact to make an appointment.
Our partner, Farewill, offers a telephone will service. You can speak to a will specialist on the phone who'll guide you through the process.
A late cancellation or no show for a telephone appointment will incur a £20 fee.
Find out more from Farewill about their will services.
Preparing to write your will
Before you write your will, you may wish to complete an asset checklist so you have a clear idea of what your estate is worth.
If you would like to leave a gift to Shelter Scotland, all you will need is our charity number: SC002327 and address: Scotiabank House, 6 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AW. You can also provide your solicitor with our suggested will wording.
Frequently asked questions
Do you need a will?
Retiring? Moving house? Celebrating a new grandchild? There are so many reasons to make a will – and it’s important that you do.
Your will is a chance to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are respected. It’s also the only way for you to leave a legacy to the causes and charities that you're passionate about.
Types of gifts you can make
There are a number of ways you can leave Shelter Scotland a legacy gift in your will.
You could gift:
1. A share of your estate (residuary gift)
You may wish to leave Shelter Scotland all or part of what is left of your estate after other gifts and debts have been paid. This gift will not be eroded in value by inflation over the years.
Suggested will wording:
'Subject to the payment of my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, I give (the whole/insert percentage value) of my estate not otherwise disposed of by this my Will to Shelter Scotland of Scotiabank House, 6 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AW registered charity number SC002327, for the general purposes of Shelter Scotland, and I declare that the receipt of their Treasurer or other proper officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge.'
2. A sum of money (pecuniary gift)
You may wish to leave us a stated sum of money. With this gift, it’s important to remember that the value of money changes over time and you may need to alter your will periodically to keep up with inflation.
Suggested will wording:
'I give free of tax to Shelter Scotland of Scotiabank House, 6 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AW, registered charity number SC002327, the sum of £________ for the purposes of Shelter Scotland, and I declare that the receipt of their Treasurer or other proper officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge.'
3. A specific item of value
Some people decide to gift us specific items of value, such as works of art or property. By leaving a property to Shelter Scotland, you can give thousands of people a safe home. For example, a house which sells for £290,000 could help a staggering 10,000 people get advice by making a call to our emergency helpline and avoid losing their homes.
Suggested will wording:
'I give to Shelter Scotland of Scotiabank House, 6 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AW, registered charity number SC002327, absolutely (write in here whatever you wish to give) for the purpose of Shelter Scotland, and I declare that the receipt of their Treasurer or other proper officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge.'
4. A reversionary gift
This gift enables you to pass your estate or specific assets of your estate, to individuals who will benefit throughout their lifetime. Following their deaths all, or some, of the estate is then passed to the beneficiaries as specified in the reversionary legacy.
For example, property may be left to a spouse for their lifetime and then bequeathed to Shelter Scotland after their death.
How to amend an existing will
If you already have a will and want to make small changes – such as including a gift to Shelter Scotland – you may not need to rewrite it. You can ask your solicitor to add a codicil form, which makes amendments to your existing will.
It might be better to write a new will if you’d like to make a significant change to it. You can use our free will services for both writing a new will and amending one.
Are there inheritance tax benefits?
Gifts in wills to registered charities are free of inheritance tax (IHT). So, if the value of your estate is more than the tax threshold, a gift to charity could reduce the burden of IHT.
Also, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity, this can reduce the rate of IHT from 40% to 36% on some assets.
Keeping your will safe
Wills often get lost or mislaid over time, so make sure to keep yours safe.
We recommend leaving a copy of your will with your solicitor, or with someone you trust. Alternatively, you can register your will with the National Will Register, for a small fee.
Please note that all the will writing services above are provided by third-party organisations who are independent of Shelter Scotland. By participating in any of the will writing services above, you become a direct client of the will provider. To use these services, you must consent to providing Shelter Scotland with your full name, address, and date of birth whether or not you have included a gift to Shelter Scotland in your will. Shelter Scotland reserves the right to withdraw the free will services.