Leave a gift in your will | Viva! - The Vegan Charity

Leave a gift in your will

A Gift for Life

Viva!’s Guide to Making a Will


We are delighted to announce that Viva! has partnered with The Goodwill Partnership. It will enable us to offer you, our supporters, the opportunity to make or amend a simple Will in your own home ABSOLUTELY FREE*. Leaving a gift to Viva! in your Will allows your passion for helping animals to live on through us and as we are a charity, your bequest will be entirely free of Inheritance Tax.


To book your appointment directly with the Goodwill Partnership call 0844 669 6148, quoting ‘Viva!’.

Nearly three-quarters of people fail to make a Will and so have no control over what happens to their money when they die. You can remedy that now at no cost*. Contact the Goodwill Partnership, quoting 'Viva!' and they will arrange for a trained counsellor to visit you at home - daytime, evenings or weekends. A qualified solicitor will then draw up the Will for your approval.

There is no obligation to include a gift in your will to Viva!, however we would encourage everyone benefiting from this offer to consider leaving a gift as our increasingly successful campaigns for animals depend entirely upon the generosity of our supporters. We receive no funding from the government or commercial interests.

Viva! has always fought to end animal suffering and has a long string of successes. Much of our recent increase in campaigning has been funded by those who have been generous enough to remember us in their Will. We are truly grateful. Please think about joining them.

We would really value your support in this way as Viva! relies on gifts in Wills for much of our campaigning income.

Please note:

If you wish to leave a gift in your will to Viva!, please include the charity’s registered charity number (1037486) and postal address (Viva!, 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH).

*Viva! will fund the cost of a simple Will for you and your partner/spouse. However, should you have more complex requirements, The Goodwill Partnership will be able to advise you on what action to take and whether additional legal advice and products may be appropriate and any additional costs which may be involved.

Of course you don't have to use the Goodwill Partnership,

so below is a Guide to leaving a Will though your own solicitor. Thank you for your support.


Thank you for requesting information on leaving a legacy to Viva!. We are entirely dependent on the generosity of you, our supporters, to fund our vital work to stop cruelty to farmed animals and promote an animal-free diet. We are indebted to the many Viva! supporters who have already included us in their Wills, as a legacy to Viva! ensures we will be able to continue our vital work for animals. It also retains your involvement with us long after you've gone.

Leaving a legacy or bequest is easy but we do recommend that you make an appointment to see a solicitor, who will do the work for you and ensure that it is legally sound. It should cost you in the region of £110 (more if your Will is complex). Or you can use our FREE simple Will-making service through our partnership with the Goodwill Partnership (see above). Please see 'Making Your Will'.

Viva! is a Charity

Viva!'s registered charity number is 1037486 and our address is 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH. Tel 0117 944 1000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm).

Why make a Will?

Leaving a Will means that your wishes will be carried out and that your Estate will be distributed as you wish. If you do not make a Will, the law will decide where your money goes, which may not be as you wish. A Will is a legal document and failing to leave one can mean a lengthy and possibly expensive process for your relatives. Merely writing down your wishes may not be legally enforceable.

Duckling animal rightsEven if you are married, without a Will your spouse may be entitled to all your assets only if you have no other living relatives. It could mean having to sell the family house to give other relatives their share. Unmarried couples fare even worse - if there is no Will, the surviving partner is often not entitled to anything, even the house they have been living in.

If you have no relatives or partner, the Government will keep everything if you die 'intestate' (not having a Will).

None of this need happen if a Will is drawn up. You decide who gets what from your Estate, leaving no room for doubt or the possibility of costly legal fees in the case of arguments.

Wills are also the best way to ensure that friends and groups such as Viva! are remembered and receive the gifts you intended.

What a Will covers

Your Will covers how your entire Estate is to be distributed and you can include instructions about such things as your funeral arrangements and the care of companion animals.

Is it time to change or amend your Will?

If you get married, remarried, divorced or separated it is important to review your Will and make amendments as necessary.

It is important to remember to include your children (if you wish) in any Will.

Simple amends can be made by adding what's called a Codicil (see below), which, like your main Will, must be witnessed by two people. Keep any Codicils with your Will.

If you intend to make major changes, it may be best to have a new Will written.

Animal charityAdding Viva! to your existing Will

If you already have a Will, you can choose to support Viva!'s work by adding a Codicil to it. Viva! can help you with the wording (and send you a Codicil form, or see our web site www.viva.org.uk/legacy) and then all you need do is send it to your solicitor. Call Tony Wardle, Associate Director, on 0117 944 1000 or email tony@viva.org.uk. Alternatively, ask your solicitor for help - amending a Will in this way is surprisingly easy and inexpensive.

Your Estate

Your Estate is everything you own or part-own, including assets such as property, cash, shares or income from a trust.

It is useful to draw up a list of your assets before going to a solicitor - however, you do not need to list everything you own, merely the main items, anything that is of special value or items you wish to leave to a named individual. Remember to include: your house; car and other vehicles; furniture; art or collections such as stamps and coins, or other items of value.

Animal charityList your bank accounts and any investments you have - include all your bank and building society accounts, premium bonds, stocks and shares, insurance policies, pension benefits and any money owed to you.

You will also need to list what you owe - your liabilities. These include mortgages and outstanding loans, credit cards, household bills and overdrafts. These liabilities will be the first things paid from your Estate.

Inheritance Tax

If your total Estate is worth up to £325,000* you will pay no inheritance tax, anything above this figure will be taxed at a rate of 40 per cent (payable to the Government). There are certain gifts you can make that will reduce the value of your Estate and therefore the amount of inheritance tax you have to pay. These include gifts to your spouse or to UK registered Charities, both of which are 'exempt' and free of inheritance tax.

For example, if your Estate is worth £390,000, inheritance tax will amount to £26,000 (arrived at by deducting the tax free allowance of £325,000 from the total, leaving £65,000 subject to tax at 40 per cent). But if you leave £35,000 to your spouse and £35,000 to a charity, no inheritance tax would be payable.

(*The figure of £325,000 is correct at the time of writing it may change, so please check on line or consult your solicitor to find the current  tax-free rate.)

Animal charityYour Executor

This is the person or persons who will oversee your wishes and should be named in your Will. After your death, they will be granted Probate, which gives them the legal right to distribute your Estate and sell property, investments and other assets as necessary. Often, a solicitor is named as Executor but they do charge for this service as do banks, who tend to charge even more than solicitors. You can choose whoever you want to be an Executor but it can be a complicated process so be sure they are willing to do it. You can appoint up to four Executors, who can also be beneficiaries in your Will if that's what you want.

Viva! as Your Executor

Sometimes, people who leave Viva! a gift in their Will also choose our founder & director, Juliet Gellatley, as their Executor. If you do this, you can rest assured that your affairs will be handled sensitively and the best price will be obtained for those things in your Estate that need to be sold - your house and its contents for example. Viva! will take time and trouble to ensure that your wishes are carried out as you would want and makes no charge for this service. If you would like us to act for you as Executor, please contact Juliet Gellatley, Director, on 0117 944 1000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm) or email juliet@viva.org.uk. You can write to Juliet at Viva!, 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH.

The Beneficiaries of Your Will

Decide how you want to divide up your Estate. You may want to leave everything to one person or organisation or give specific items or sums of money to different people or groups such as Viva!. All these are your beneficiaries.

Kangaroo wildlifeSpecific gifts are items such as artwork, books, jewellery or a stated amount of money. Of course, the value of these can change over time so it is worth reviewing your Will every few years.

After these specific gifts have been distributed and all outstanding expenses have been paid (funeral costs, unpaid bills, legal fees etc), what is left is the balance of your Estate. This is called the Residue. You can split this any way you wish - give it to one or several beneficiaries. For instance, you could leave 50 per cent of the Residue to your partner and then half of the remaining 50 per cent to each of two organisations.

A Gift for Life

By leaving a legacy to Viva!, you will be making a lasting gift which will continue to have an impact long after your death. There are four main ways of doing it.

  1. A Residual Bequest.

    This is when you leave the Residue from your Estate after all other bequests and costs have been deducted.

  2. Pecuniary Gift.

    This is when you want to leave Viva! a specific sum of money (over time, inflation can erode its value so it's worth reviewing the situation every few years). Another option is to leave Viva! a specific proportion of your Estate.

  3. A Percentage of Your Estate.

    For example, you could specify a gift to Viva! of 50 per cent of the value of your Estate. If your Estate was worth £50,000, this 50 per cent Bequest would mean a gift of £25,000. If you specified 10 per cent, the gift would be £5,000.

  4. A Non-Money Specific Gift.

    This could be a house, car, jewellery, painting etc., which Viva! could then sell or make use of.

Animal rights activistsWording of your Will

Should you decide to include Viva! in your Will, you'll need to use legal wording and to include our full name and address.

For a Residual Bequest

" I give the Residue of my Estate to Viva! Campaigns Ltd (company reg. no. 4161147) of 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, for its general purposes and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer or duly authorised officer shall be a valid and appropriate form of discharge."

For a Pecuniary Gift

" I give the sum of £_______ to Viva! Campaigns Ltd (company reg. no. 4161147) of 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, for its general purposes and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer or duly authorised officer shall be a valid and appropriate form of discharge."

For a Percentage Gift

" I give ______% of my Estate to Viva! Campaigns Ltd (company reg. no. 4161147) of 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, for its general purposes and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer or duly authorised officer shall be a valid and appropriate form of discharge."

Pig Babe piglet

For a Non-Money Specific Gift eg a house/flat

" I give to Viva! Campaigns Ltd (company reg. no. 4161147) of 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, for its general purposes all my share and interest in my house (or flat) known as (full address) absolutely and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer or duly authorised officer shall be a valid and appropriate form of discharge."

Making Your Will

The safest way of drawing up a Will is to go along to a solicitors with all this information and get them to write it for you. It should cost upwards of £110 plus VAT, depending on complexity. The best place to start is by asking friends if they can recommend a good firm of solicitors. Yellow Pages are also useful - phone a few solicitors and get some quotes. Alternatively, you can ask the Law Society (Tel: 0207 242 1222) for the names of solicitors in your area who specialise in this work. They aren't allowed to recommend a specific solicitor but will give you a list of qualified firms.

Keeping Your Will Safe

It is very important to keep your Will in a safe place and send a copy to your Executors, telling them where the original is kept. You may also want to send a copy to your main beneficiaries. Don't forget to keep a copy yourself so you can check the details if your circumstances change. You can deposit the original with your solicitor or bank.

Kangaroo animal charityA Legacy to Viva!

Leaving a legacy to Viva! will ensure that our important work continues. We have achieved some great successes since we started and funds are our lifeblood, vital if we are to carry on with our campaigns to saved farmed animals from cruelty and suffering and help people go vegetarian and vegan. Your legacy will help us to keep going with this vital work. It will save animals.

Legal Language in Plain English!

Beneficiary or Legatee

Any group, organisation, company, charity or individual that is left a gift in your Will.


A gift made in your Will to a specific group, organisation, company, charity or individual.


An addition to your existing Will which makes small changes.

Chattels and Moveables

Your personal possessions such as car, jewellery, paintings and furniture.

Crown or Treasury

The taxman. If you leave no Will and have no relatives, the government will take everything.

Kangaroo animal charityEstate

Your Estate is everything that you own or part-own at the time of your death, and includes property, cash, savings, shares, cars, investments, life assurance and income from a trust.


The person or people named in your Will responsible for seeing that your wishes are carried out.

Intestate and Intestacy

Not leaving a Will or leaving one that is invalid or incomplete.


The same as bequest.


Any debts that have to be paid from your Estate, such as household bills and funeral expenses.

Pecuniary Legacy

A specific amount of money made as a gift from your Estate.

badger cull legacy willProbate

The legal procedure to establish that your Will is valid and gives the executor(s) the right to act on your behalf.


The value of your Estate when all debts, taxes, legacies and fees have been deducted.

Residual Bequest/Residual Legacy

A gift to any group, organisation, company, charity or individual from the residue of your Estate.


The person you're married to. If you are living with someone as husband and wife but are not married, they do not qualify as a spouse.


You - the person making the Will!

Confidential Pledge

badger cull legacy willIf you intend to leave a legacy to Viva!, it will help us enormously to know what it is so that we can plan more accurately for the future. This pledge is simply a declaration of your current intentions, has no legal implications and is in no way binding!

Many thanks.


Click here to download the guide in PDF format.


8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, UK

T: 0117 944 1000  E: info@viva.org.uk W: www.viva.org.uk