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Leaving a gift in your will frequently asked questions

Visitors in the Nursery at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire
Visitors in the Nursery at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

Your donations help us to protect special places for everyone, for ever. Gifts in wills help care for the places that really matter – from natural spaces and irreplaceable landscapes where wildlife can flourish, to unique buildings we can all enjoy exploring. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about leaving a gift in a will.

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'd like to get in touch, please contact us via one of the methods below.

Online form


Tel: 01793 817699, which is open Monday to Friday 9am–5.30pm, plus Bank Holidays 9am–4pm. If you’d like us to reply by telephone, please include a daytime number where we can contact you.

Write to: Gifts in Wills team, National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2NA.

If you’re a solicitor or an executor managing a legacy gift left for the National Trust, please contact 01793 817469.

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 can also register for the comprehensive Gifts in Wills Guide,

which includes further information about the will writing process and offers step-by-step advice to help you get started.

3. What is the National Trust's registered charity number and details that need 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.

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.

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 donor newsletter PDF

Read the 2022/23 annual report and 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.

Solicitors and executors can contact our legacy team on 01793 817469.

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.
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