Leaving a Will - Your Essential Guide

Make a new Will your 2020 promise


Spring has sprung, drawing a line under the winter months (although Storm Emma just couldn’t let go), and for many, the annual psychological battle to keep New Year’s resolutions alive probably ended some months ago.

I have a suggestion for a resolution that should be easy to make and achievable. If you haven’t got a will, make a belated promise to write one.  Contrary to popular belief, making a will is not akin to signing your own death warrant! It is sensible financial planning for the future.


It’s never fun to think about our own eventual mortal demise, and yet there is no getting away from the fact it is a club of which we are all going to become members. However, a club you definitely do not want to be a member of is the intestate club. To join, you need to be one of the third of adults in the UK that dies every year without having made a will – known as dying intestate.


If you die intestate, a set of inflexible rules dictate how your estate will be distributed and to whom. As you’ve worked so hard during your life to attain the savings, property, etc. that represents your personal wealth, why would you not want to decide for yourself who gets what after you’re gone?


Under intestacy rules, any unmarried partners are ignored, however loving and long their relationship may have been. Step-children are ignored under intestacy rules too.


Even if you plan to leave everything to your spouse, without a will, your loved one as beneficiary becomes responsible for attaining ‘grants of letters of administration’ via the probate registry, which involves an interview and much bureaucratic form filling. It will delay the release of funds and place added strain on your loved one who is likely already fragile and grieving at this time.


You can’t leave a gift to Charity without a will. Did you know that if you leave at least 10% of your taxable estate to charity you could reduce any inheritance tax liability against your estate?


If you’re still not sure it’s time to make a new resolution and make your will, take a look at the Masonic Charitable Foundation website. We have lots of information about will-making and legacy giving, and a useful downloadable guide. We even have an online will making service in collaboration with Law Vault, which is available at www.mcf.org.uk/legacy  


I nearly forgot. Did you know that on average people that have written a will live longer than those who haven’t? And people who leave a gift to a charitable cause in their will live longer still.  


Make a promise to look after yourself, those you love and the causes you support – make a will.

By Duncan Washbrook, Legacy Manager


Duncan Washbrook is the Legacy Manager for the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Contact legacy@mcf.org.uk

For Freemasons, for families, for everyone

The Masonic Charitable Foundation builds better lives by enabling opportunity, advancing healthcare and education and promoting independence for Freemasons, their families and the wider community.

Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country.


How the Foundation helps Masonic families

 A wide range of help and support is available for Freemasons, their wives, partners, widows, children and grandchildren. Most of the support provided takes the form of financial grants to assist with financial, health or family related needs.


  • Daily living costs
  • Grants following an accident, redundancy or personal crisis
  • Funeral bills
  • Minor home repairs


  • Medical treatment
  • Dental treatment
  • Mobility aids and home adaptations
  • Counselling

Family – Children in full-time education

  • Costs for education or training
  • Scholarships, travel grants and student accommodation
  • Supporting exceptional talent in sport, music or the performing arts

Family – Care

  • Masonic care homes – including nursing, residential and dementia care
  • Respite care
  • UK holidays

Practical assistance

The Foundation’s Advice & Support Team offer confidential, impartial and practical guidance about the help we can provide. The Team can also help with applications for state and local authority benefits and can put you in touch with other organisations who can give advice on care, employment and education.

How to apply

For further information about the help and support available from the Foundation, please call their dedicated freephone enquiry line: 0800 035 60 90 or email help@mcf.org.uk.  You can also write to Masonic Charitable Foundation, 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ

For more information about the Foundation’s grants and the application process, please visit: www.mcf.org.uk


How the Foundation helps communities

In addition to the support provided to Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation looks beyond Freemasonry, making significant financial grants to charities that help people to live happy, fulfilled lives and to participate actively in society.

The charities supported make a significant and lasting difference to people in need.  We aim to benefit as many people as possible and further those causes about which Freemasons and their families have told us they are most passionate.

To find out more about the Foundation’s Community Support and Research grants, please visit: www.mcf.org.uk/community


Keep up to date with the Foundation’s work

Website:          www.mcf.org.uk

Twitter:            @Masonic_Charity

Facebook:       @themcf

YouTube:        Masonic Charitable Foundation

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