Gifts in Wills

If you are considering leaving us a gift in your Will – thank you!

“My paintings have helped me repay the enormous debt of gratitude I owe to wildlife – I like to call them my living legacy because, unlike me, my paintings will live on. By leaving a gift in your will, you can help us fight to save species struggling against extinction.”

David Shepherd CBE , Founder of DSWF

Be part of David’s legacy through a gift in your Will

Every gift, whether it is a fixed sum or just 1% of your estate (so your other inheritors receive 99%), makes a difference and will sustain our efforts to fight, protect and engage on behalf of endangered wildlife.

What information do I need?

To leave us a gift in your Will, please give your solicitor or the person drafting your Will the following information:

Registered Charity Name: David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Registered Charity Number: 1106893

Your adviser can agree the words and type of gift which suit your circumstances.

What type of gift could I leave?

  • A sum of money: This can be any sum of money which suits your circumstances
  • A residuary gift: This is a percentage of what you are worth. It could be 1% to 100% of your “estate” – whatever suits your own circumstances. Just 1% will help.
  • A specific gift: For example an original piece of art that you would like to leave us. Please do call us to ensure we can fulfil your wishes with regards to specific gifts.
  • A contingent gift: This is a gift in your Will that depends upon the occurrence of an event which may or may not happen. An example is a gift to a charity which applies only if other beneficiaries named in the Will die before the person making the Will.

What if I want to change my Will?

If you already have a Will and would like to change it, you can use a codicil which is a separate instruction that is then kept with your Will. However, it is also just as easy for your solicitor to adapt your existing Will. You can download our handy codicil template here.

Is it easy to do?

Yes! All you have to do is phone your adviser and it can happen in minutes.

If you do not have a solicitor, please contact our Head of Finance, Mary Nugent at [email protected] or on 01483 272323 for a list of solicitors local to you who regularly draft Wills – we are not allowed to recommend a particular solicitor.

DSWF is not allowed to give legal advice but if you would like to discuss your gift, you are very welcome to contact Georgina Lamb, our Chief Executive.

Dame Judi Dench DSWF celebrity Ambassador

“We share this fragile world with all creatures. Don’t leave their survival to chance. Making a Will is one of the ways we ensure the world is a better place for those we care about. Please leave a lasting legacy to future generations.”

Dame Judi Dench, DSWF Legacy Ambassador

A letter of wishes

A Letter of Wishes is a document that accompanies your Will.

It is not legally binding but can guide your executors (and appointed trustees if you have them), to ensure your personal wishes are carried out.

It gives you great flexibility to meet your current wishes without the need for expensive future changes to your Will.

You must take care that a Letter of Wishes does not contain anything that could conflict with the Will. The Letter can advise on anything, but most common uses include:

  • Any charities you would like to benefit (giving the Executors the final choice of fulfilling your wish, or not, depending on whether there are enough assets for other beneficiaries).
  • Who to notify of your death, or in some cases perhaps who not to tell!
  • The style of funeral you want, whether you want burial or cremation, and any specific instructions regarding the service, where you would like to be buried or have your ashes scattered.
  • Whether you would like flowers, or donations in memory of a loved one to the charity of your choice (such as DSWF).
  • Guiding your executors or trustees on how you would like any money managed, or trusts created in your Will to be run. This can be important if you have children aged under 18.
  • Suggesting guardians for your children.
  • Giving more detailed information to help your executors identify specific items you are giving away in your Will.

A Letter of Wishes should be written in plain English, signed and dated, but not witnessed to avoid any claim that it has become a legal Will or codicil.

This document is suitable for people who live in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Our promises for gifts in Wills

We understand that this is a private gift and that your circumstances might change in the future.

To reassure you that we value the private method of this way of supporting our work, we have developed the following promises:

  • We will not put pressure on you to give a gift in your Will – it is your decision.
  • We will never ask you the size or type of gift if you decide to support our work this way.
  • We absolutely recognise those closest to you come first in your Will.
  • You never have to tell us your intentions – we respect your right to privacy.
  • We fully understand that personal circumstances change and there might be a time when you must take DSWF out of your Will.
  • We promise to use your gift wisely.
  • If you want your gift used in a special way (i.e. for a particular species) please contact us.
  • If you want to tell us about your gift it does enable us to say thank you which we like to do.

Legal disclaimer

This information is guidance, not legal advice. Always contact a solicitor or legal professional before including a trust in your Will.