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Help with writing a will

This page provides explanations of some of the jargon you may come across when writing your will and some examples of legal wording to use when making a will.

Find out how and why to leave a legacy to the College in your will.

Will writing jargon

Administrator Someone who is appointed to settle your affairs if you die without a will
Beneficiary An individual or organisation who receives from a will
Bequest A gift in a will (see also legacy, below)
Codicil A legal document that enables a simple update or alteration to an existing will
Estate All someone possesses at the time of their death, including property and money but excluding any liabilities
Intestate The word describing a person who has died without making a will
Inheritance tax The tax that is paid on the portion of your estate that is above the nil-rate threshold
Legacy Also called a bequest – a gift left to a person or organisation in your will. There are several different types of legacy, but the most common ones are:
 
  • Residuary legacy: a gift made of what is left of your estate after all other gifts have been handed out and debts paid off
  • Pecuniary legacy: a gift of a fixed amount of money; owing to inflation, the value of a pecuniary legacy will decrease over time
  • A specific legacy: a gift of a particular named item, for example a painting or a piece of jewellery
  • Revisionary legacy/life interest trust: a legacy in two stages:
    • A legacy is left to a first beneficiary to use an asset (e.g. a property) during their lifetime
    • After their death, the asset is passed on to the subsequent beneficiary or charity
Probate The legal procedure to establish whether a will is valid and the legacies can be distributed as per the wishes expressed in the will
Testator (male)/ testatrix (female) The person making the will

 

Examples of legal wording when making a will

We recommend that you use a solicitor when you make or update your will. Depending on the type of gift you wish to leave, we have prepared the following suggested legacy clauses for England, Wales and Scotland to assist you. You may take these with you to your solicitor, who will ensure that your wishes are accurately followed.

For all types of gift, it’s vital that you state:

  • The College’s full name (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists)
  • Our registered charity number (213280 for England and Wales, SC041594 for Scotland)
  • Our correct registered address (27 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RG)

Share of your estate (leaving the residue or a share of your estate)

Legacy clause wording for England and Wales:

Subject to the payment of my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, I give the whole (residuary) or _____ % of my estate not otherwise disposed of by this my Will to Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (registered charity number 213280) of 27 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RG, UK for the general purposes of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

I direct that the receipt of the duly authorised officer of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists shall be a full and sufficient discharge for my Executors/Trustees.

Those wishing to leave money in Scotland should seek specific advice.

Pecuniary legacy (leaving a specific sum of money)

Legacy clause wording for England and Wales:

Subject to the payment of my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, I give the whole (residuary) or _____ % of my estate not otherwise disposed of by this my Will to Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (registered charity number 213280) of 27 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RG, UK for the general purposes of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

I direct that the receipt of the duly authorised officer of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists shall be a full and sufficient discharge for my Executors/Trustees.

Those wishing to leave money in Scotland should seek specific advice.

Specific legacy (a named/specific item)

Legacy clause wording for England and Wales:
I give my ___________________________________________________________ (short description of property given) free of tax to Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (registered charity number 213280) of 27 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RG, UK.

I direct that the receipt of the duly authorised officer of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists shall be a full and sufficient discharge for my Executors/Trustees.

Those wishing to leave money in Scotland should seek specific advice.

Revisionary legacy/life interest trust

(A legacy – e.g. your property or income from an investment – is left to your family for their lifetime and then, upon their death, passed on to a subsequent beneficiary or charity)

Legacy clause wording for England and Wales:

My trustees shall hold [. . .] on trust for [. . .] during his lifetime and, following his death, hold the capital and income for Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (registered charity numbers 213280 in England and Wales and SC041594 in Scotland) of 27 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RG, UK and the receipt of the Vice President (Strategic Development) or other proper officer for the time being of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists shall be a complete discharge to my trustees.

Those wishing to leave money in Scotland should seek specific advice.

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