Wills don’t have to be complicated, but they can appear daunting. Our supporters often have questions about leaving a gift in their Will and we’ve answered some of the most common ones here.

Legacies are a vital source of income to Prisoners Abroad and the generous gifts left to us have been so important in enabling our work to continue. It is advisable that you make a Will as soon as possible. Having a professionally prepared and up-to-date Will is the only way of ensuring your loved ones and favourite charities will be remembered as you wish.

Your Will is a legally binding document and once it is written, you will have peace of mind that your loved ones are taken care of. We do recommend that you review it regularly so that it still reflects your wishes. Any amendment to an existing Will is called a codicil.

Do I need a Solicitor?

As your Will is a legally binding document and may deal with complex matters, we strongly suggest that you consult a solicitor when drawing up your Will or if you wish to make changes to it.

How do I find a solicitor and how much will it cost?

Ask friends for a recommendation; check your local telephone directory or the internet. Always ask a solicitor to quote a price before deciding whether to use their services. The cost will depend upon the complexity of your affairs but may not be as expensive as you think.

  • In England and Wales contact the Law Society for details of a firm near you:www.lawsociety.org.uk, or call 020 7242 1222.
  • In Scotland contact the Law Society of Scotland: www.lawscot.org.uk, or call 0131 226 7411.
  • In Northern Ireland contact the Law Society of Northern Ireland: www.lawsoc-ni.org, or call 028 9023 1614.

How do I leave a gift to Prisoners Abroad?

To leave a gift to Prisoners Abroad you need to start by making a Will, or if you already have one, you'll need to amend it with a codicil form. Visit our 'How to leave a gift in your Will' page for step-by-step instructions on what to do.

Are there different types of legacy?

There are 3 types of gifts you can leave to Prisoners Abroad: residuary, pecuniary, and specific.

  1. A residuary legacy: You can leave Prisoners Abroad part or the entire residue of your estate – this is the balance left after specific cash gifts (maybe to friends and family), debts, tax and funeral expenses have been paid. It’s a good way to support the charity as it keeps pace with inflation.
  2. A pecuniary legacy: The second option is to leave a gift of a sum of money e.g. £5,000 to Prisoners Abroad.
  3. A specific legacy: The third option is leave a specific item e.g. a piece of jewellery or property like a picture.

What wording should my solicitors use?

For the convenience of a solicitor who may be helping you draw up your Will, here are examples of suggested wording, covering the different kinds of legacy.

Option 1 Wording: legacy of all or part of net estate

(i) I give Prisoners Abroad, 89-93 Fonthill Road London N4 3JH. Registered charity number 1093710. Company number 04333963. Registered in England, the residue [or % share of the residue] of my estate absolutely and I direct that the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of Prisoners Abroad.

(ii) I direct that the receipt of the duly authorised officer of Prisoners Abroad shall be a sufficient discharge for my executor/trustees.

Option 2 & 3 wording: A cash gift or specific item

I give to Prisoners Abroad, 89-93 Fonthill Road London N4 3JH. Registered charity number 1093710. Company number 04333963. Registered in England.

(i) (free of tax) the sum of £...

OR

(ii) (free of tax and cost of transfer)the gift of my (short description of specific item given) and I direct that the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of Prisoners Abroad.

(iii) I direct that the receipt of the duly authorised officer of Prisoners Abroad shall be a sufficient discharge for my executor/trustees.

What's the basic information that I need to include?

To make sure your gift reaches us you'll need to include our:

Name: Prisoners Abroad
Address: 89-93 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3JH
Registered charity number: 1093710

Inheritance Tax

Please note, if the total value of your estate is over a certain amount then Inheritance Tax may become payable, but any gift you make to a registered UK charity such as Prisoners Abroad is exempt. In effect this means that the tax payable on your estate is reduced.

Finally, please keep a copy of your Will safe. Your solicitor may offer to keep a copy as part of their service. Alternatively if you have left a gift to us we will happily hold a copy for you.

I already have a Will, how do I add Prisoners Abroad to it?

It's simple to amend an existing Will to include a gift to Prisoners Abroad. Just download our codicil form, fill it out with help from your solicitor, and get it signed by two witnesses. Your solicitor will attach the codicil to your original Will, and you should keep a copy with any further copies of your Will.

Do I need to tell you if I've left a gift to Prisoners Abroad in my Will?

It's entirely up to you whether or not you choose to tell us about a gift. Of course we'd be delighted to hear from you - not only does this allow us to thank you but it also helps us to plan for the future. If you'd like to let us know about a gift you've left, or intend to leave, please call us on 0207 561 6820, email us, or download our pledge form. Rest assured that any information you give us will be kept in the strictest confidence and is not legally binding, meaning you can change your mind at any time.

I've left a gift to Prisoners Abroad in my Will, but my circumstances have since changed. Can I change my mind?

Yes, of course you can. A Will is a very personal document that must reflect your final wishes, which is why you're free to change your mind at any time. And you don't even have to tell us if you don't want to.

I'm not wealthy, is there any point leaving a gift to Prisoners Abroad?

The belief that you need to be rich to leave a gift to charity in your Will is simply not true. Leaving just a small percentage, or what's called a residuary legacy, to us in your Will goes a long way. Many find that because these types of gifts are inflation-proof and exempt from inheritance tax they can afford to be much more generous in their Will then they ever could in their lifetime. No matter the size, you can be certain that every gift left to us goes some way towards helping those we care for.

Shouldn't I provide for my family first?

It's completely natural that you should want your family to be provided for, and we would always encourage you to make sure they're looked after first. However, it's a common misconception that you have to choose between family and charity when writing your Will. We don't want to be given top priority; all we ask is that you remember us once your loved ones' needs have been met.

Wouldn't it be better to donate now?

We're extremely grateful for all the donations we get, and it's absolutely crucial to our work that we carry on receiving them every day. However, society is ever-changing and we just don't know what issues may emerge in the future. We try to encourage legacy donations as well because they help us to plan ahead, and be prepared for whatever's around the corner.

Will my gift to Prisoners Abroad be subject to tax?

Most gifts you leave to Prisoners Abroad are generally exempt from tax, meaning that we receive the full amount. An added benefit is that your gift may also bring the total value of your estate below the inheritance tax threshold. We recommend you talk to a solicitor for more details on tax exemptions and benefits.

Can you send me some more information?

If you'd like some more time to consider things and discuss it with your family, we would be happy to send you some more information by post. Simply give us a ring on 020 7561 6820 or email us.

Can I have a say in how you use my gift?

If you are especially passionate about a particular area of our work then of course you can specify what area of our work you would like your gift to contribute to. If gifts are left to us as ‘unrestricted,’we will use the money where it is most needed.

If you still have questions or if you'd like to discuss leaving a gift to us in your Will, please feel free to drop our team a line.

Call us: 020 7561 6820

Email us: [email protected]

Write to us: Wills team, Prisoners Abroad, 89-93 Fonthill Road, London, N4 3JH