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How to make a gift in your will

Female surgeon gloving surgical colleague

Make Surgery your Legacy

It is important to make a will, not least to avoid the difficulties that may arise for loved ones if you die without one. The information below outlines some of the key elements you will need to consider, should you choose to leave a legacy gift to us.

It is advisable to consult a solicitor, or you may wish to take advantage of our free online will-writing service (more below). If you have already written your will and now wish to leave a gift to us, you can make an addition by including a codicil.

To leave a gift to RCS England you must ensure that your will states our full name, address and registered charity number:

  • Royal College of Surgeons of England, 38–43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE Registered Charity Number: 212808

What kind of gift can I make?

It is important to indicate which type of gift you wish to leave. You can leave a restricted gift for a specified purpose or an unrestricted gift, which has no conditions attached. An unrestricted gift allows us to make the most of your generosity according to our area of greatest need at the time.

Residuary legacy

A residuary legacy is a share of your estate. This can either be a percentage of what remains once your loved ones are provided for. As this gift is a proportion of your estate, it keeps pace with inflation.

Pecuniary legacy

A pecuniary legacy is a fixed sum of money. You can choose to leave any amount, but since inflation reduces its value, you may wish to review the gift from time to time. You can also index link a pecuniary legacy to ensure it keeps its value in line with inflation.

Specific legacy

You can leave a gift of a particular item such as property, shares or a surgical instrument collection. Where possible please do discuss items with us first, as in some cases there may be points to consider.

Reversionary legacy

A reversionary legacy allows a beneficiary such as a spouse or a dependent to benefit from your assets during their lifetime, such as living in your house, with all or part of the assets passing to the College on their death. This provides peace of mind that a loved one’s interests will be protected in their lifetime. 

Sample wording for your will

I give to the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 38-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3PE, UK (Registered Charity Number: 212808) (‘the Charity’)
a [specify percentage]% share of/the residue of my estate

the sum of £[specify value]

my [insert full description of item and its location]

to be used for the general purposes of the Charity, and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or duly authorised officer for the time being of the Charity shall be a full and sufficient discharge to my Executors.

Tax matters

Gifts to charities are taken out of your estate before tax is calculated and are 100% free from tax. This may mean that leaving a gift to a charity such as the RCS England reduces your Inheritance Tax liability.

Since the 2012 budget, gifts to charities of 10% or more of your net estate reduce your Inheritance Tax liability from 40% to 36%, meaning it can be possible to leave a transformational gift to your preferred charity whilst the net cost to your loved ones is substantially reduced. Please visit the HMRC website for the latest information, or consult your solicitor or financial adviser.

Free will-writing service

We are delighted to offer a free will-writing service through Bequeathed, helping you make your Will For Good. The service offers all of our supporters a free, fully advised will from an accredited legal professional.

Anyone can make their Will For Good, free of charge, in three simple steps:

Step 1: Go to our page on the Bequeathed website and complete the online interview or set up a call with them.

The questions asked help to gather all the information required to make your will quickly. It takes around 20 minutes and there is online help at hand if you need it.

Step 2: Have a 30-minute telephone or video appointment with a legal firm.

When you have completed the online interview, an appointment with a local legal firm will be arranged. Choose whether you have a phone or video call, in your home or their office. The firm will discuss your situation and your wishes and confirm your will fully caters for your needs.

Step 3: Receive your free will in the post, sign it and have it witnessed.

After your appointment, the legal firm will send you your free will. Just sign it in front of witnesses and return to the firm. They will check it has been executed correctly and securely store it for you at no cost.

Bequeathed firms donate up to 30 minutes of their expertise to help you make your free will. For most people, that will be all they need. If you need additional advice, they will provide you with a quote, and it is up to you whether to accept. 

Legacy Impact

Legacy gifts: Supporting the educational training of surgeons

Miss Phyllis Ann George FRCS (1925–2017) was a consultant general surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital in London. She was the first woman to be elected Vice-President of RCS England.

During her career, she recognised that surgery was a team effort and that for best results, fully trained teams of theatre and ward nursing staff were as important as the surgeons themselves.

She was appointed to the consultant staff at the Royal Free in 1963, continuing with specialised thyroid and breast surgery, and showing a particular aptitude and clarity in teaching medical students and junior staff. She was elected president of the section of surgery at the Royal Society of Medicine and in 1979 became the first female member of RCS England’s Council. In 1988, she became our first female Vice-President.

Miss George’s legacy for the educational training of surgeons echoes her commitment to the importance of teaching and her skill for it during her career. Her gift is supporting an e-learning product that takes the Future of Surgery team on a journey to explore the impact of technology on roles, the surgical team and the surgical environment.

Would you like to discuss how you could make Surgery your Legacy? 

Please contact Nicola Extance-Vaughan, Fundraising Manager, Legacies & In Memory Giving.



+44 (0)20 7869 6086


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