7 things to know about leaving a gift in your will

This remember a charity week, learn more about leaving a gift in your will to charity

13 September 2023

Woman in blue and white head scarf smiling at the camera in Somalia

Leaving a gift in your will to charity is a wonderful way to leave a legacy that truly helps the causes you care about. We know that this is a major decision not to be taken lightly, and you may feel unsure about how to go about this.

This Remember a Charity week we’re sharing 7 things to know about leaving a gift in your will.

1. Leaving a gift in your will ensures that your values can live on

Woman and children sitting outside of a tent in Somalia
Nuurto and her children are one of the families we’ve supported after drought in Somalia


If you are someone who passionately believes in a charitable cause, leaving a gift in your will can ensure that these values live on.

It can create a positive legacy for the future and can help ensure the work you believe in continues.

It is also a lovely way to remember a loved one, by supporting a cause they believed in.

2. Leaving a gift to charity in your will does not mean that loved ones have to miss out

Man, woman and teenage boy sat on a seat in Turkey
Huseyin his wife, Songul, and their 14-year-old son, Kamil, found comfort in each other when the lost their home in the Türkiye earthquakes. ShelterBox supported them with a tent and household items.


When writing your will, it’s important to think about your loved ones first and looking after them.

You might then want to think about any charities you feel strongly about and how you might wish to support their work.

One thing you may want to consider is leaving a residuary gift to charity. This is a percentage or share of your estate once all other payments have been made to family and friends. This prioritises those you care about while still allowing the charitable work you believe in to live on.

3. You don’t need to be wealthy to leave a gift in your will to charity

Man and four children sitting in a tent in Syria
Ali and his family have been forced to resettle three times due to the conflict in Syria.


There can be a misconception that only the wealthy can leave a gift to charity in their will. This is not the case!

Any gift you wish to leave, no matter the size, will be greatly appreciated by charities. It’s an incredible gesture that can help make a huge difference.

4. Leaving a charitable gift in your will may come with tax benefits

The standard level of inheritance tax in the UK on estates worth over £325,000 is 40%. However, if you leave over 10% of your estate to charity, the level of tax can be reduced to 36%.

Gifts made to charities, including ShelterBox, are also exempt from inheritance tax. Please seek professional tax advice to learn more.

5. You can write you will for free with Farewill

Woman and four children sitting on a mat at Minawao Camp in Cameroon.
Falta and her family were supported by ShelterBox in Minawao Camo in Cameroon, after fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria.


Your will is an important legal document and it can be daunting. If you would like help, we’ve teamed up with Farewill to offer free will writing from home.

You can complete you will either online or over the telephone. Click here to get started.

There is absolutely no obligation to leave a gift in your will to ShelterBox to use this service. We will of course very much appreciate it if you choose to do so!

6. Your gift will make a real difference

Woman sitting on the floor surrounded by children in Yemen
Mariam and her eleven children were forced to flee due to the conflict in Yemen


Gifts in wills make a massive difference to charities. One in six of the families we support at ShelterBox are funded through gifts in wills.

That means that through the generous gifts of our supporters; a family going through a disaster may have received a tent to rest in, a shelter kit to repair their home, cooking utensils and water filters to ensure they can eat and drink, or so much more.

There are photos of six families we have supported on this page – without gifts in wills, one of those families might have missed out.

7. If you are considering leaving a gift in your will to us, you can reach out for more information

two women and four children standing outside a sahelian tent in Burkina Faso
Marie and her family fled violence in Burkina Faso. We supported them with a sahelian tent, a locally appropriate temporary shelter.


We know that leaving a gift in your will is something that you will want to think about very carefully.

The gifts in wills pages on our website contain a great amount of information for anyone considering leaving a gift to ShelterBox in their will.  You can also request our free gifts in wills pack.

Whether you’ve decided to leave a gift in your will or would like more information on leaving a gift to ShelterBox, please call our Gift in Wills experts on 0300 0300 500 or email us at [email protected]


If you are considering leaving a gift in your Will to ShelterBox, thank you. Any gift, large or small, will help us reach more families, allowing them to rebuild and recover after disaster.