Leaving a gift in your will FAQs

Visitors admiring the artwork at Hatchlands Park, Surrey

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about leaving a gift in a will. However, if there’s anything else you’d like to know, please don’t hesitate to contact the Gifts in Wills team on 01793 817699. We’d be happy to help.


1. Who can I talk to about making a will and leaving a gift to the National Trust?

We are always happy to help you with any queries you may have. If you would like to speak to someone, you can call us on 01793 817699 during office hours or send your enquiry to us online.

Enquire online >

Email the Gifts in Wills team > 

Alternatively, write to: Gifts in Wills team, National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2NA. If you’d like us to reply by telephone, please include a daytime number where we can contact you.

2. How do I make a will?

We recommend using a qualified solicitor to make a new will or to amend an existing will. You can find a solicitor in your local area using the Law Society’s website. You may also find our Gifts in Wills Guide useful. It includes further options and step-by-step advice with some basic information about will making.

Download your free Gifts in Wills Guide >

3. What is the National Trust's registered charity number and details to be included in a will?

Our registered charity number is 205846 and our address is: National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2NA.

4. Can I choose what the gift in my will is spent on?

While we welcome gifts in wills that can be used for general purposes so we can meet our most urgent needs, we're also very happy to accept gifts for a particular use. That means you can choose where and what your money is spent on; a favourite property perhaps, or an area of special significance to you such as the coastline, countryside or gardens.

You can find some suggested wording in our Gifts in Wills Guide which you may like to share with your solicitor. We do recommend you use a qualified solicitor to amend or write your will.

Download your free Gifts in Wills Guide >

5. How can I make sure my gift maintains its value over time?

You can leave a residuary gift (a share of what’s left over after your debts have been paid and your wishes carried out) which will hold its value better than a cash sum. Or you can leave a fixed cash sum which can be linked to the index of retail prices, allowing your gift to keep its value in line with inflation. You might find our Gifts in Wills Guide helpful which contains more information and suggested wording.

Download your free Gifts in Wills Guide >

If you’d like to leave an index-linked cash gift, the suggested wording is:

“I give to the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty (‘the Trust’) of Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 2NA, Registered Charity No. 205846, the sum of £ (INSERT AMOUNT) or such larger sum as my executors calculate to have the same value at my death as the figure specified at the date of this (INSERT either ‘Will’ or ‘Codicil date’)"

We do recommend you use a qualified solicitor to amend or write your will.

6. Can I find out what the National Trust spends gifts in wills income on?

Yes, 100% of gifts in wills are spent where you intend. You can read about how gifts in wills have helped us in our donor newsletter. You can also read our Annual Report and statement of accounts.

Download our 2020 donor newsletter PDF >

Read the 2020/21 annual report & statement of accounts >

7. Can I make the National Trust one of my executors?

Yes you can, but only in certain circumstances. If you would like the National Trust to be an executor for your will please get in touch with us so that we can provide further information.

8. I am an executor, where do I send the legacy payment?

All correspondence should be sent to: Legacy Administration team, National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2NA who will reply to the correspondence and sort out allocation of funds. Cheques should be made payable to the National Trust.

9. What can I expect from the National Trust when I make a gift in my will?

We understand that leaving a gift in your will is a personal decision. Here’s our promise to you:

  • We know that the people important to you come first, and we will treat you and your family with respect and sensitivity.
  • We understand this is an important decision, so we won’t put you under any pressure.
  • You can decide whether or not to tell us about your decision; we respect your privacy if you choose not to inform us.
  • We will be honest and transparent about our ability to accept gifts of property or items, or gifts towards very specific projects. If you’d like to get in touch to discuss your gift, we’d be happy to talk about your options.
  • We will spend your gift wisely, and only use it in the way you intend. Every penny of a legacy gift helps to look after the places you love.
  • We will hold any information you tell us about a potential gift securely.
  • You can change your mind at any time and we will respect your decision.
  • We understand that your circumstances may change, and you may need to take the National Trust out of your will.
  • We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and talk to you about the impact your gift could have.
  • We will comply with our fundraising promise.