Bequests: Your effective legacy

Bequests, gifts in wills, or planned giving

Leaving money in your estate is a wonderful way to maintain giving as part of your legacy.

We are regularly contacted by people who would like to leave money to effective charities after they die. This is normally called a bequest, but also known as planned giving, or gifts in wills.

Depending on your circumstances, a bequest may also provide you with beneficial inheritance tax treatment. For more information, please read this post on the potential to quadruple your charitable donations at almost no cost to your beneficiaries.

Giving What We Can can help fulfil your wishes to give, either as the direct beneficiary of a bequest, or by disbursing money among highly effective organisation based on your preferences.

Bequests made simple with our tool

We have created a new tool that allows you to set up a free will and leave a bequest to effective charities. This tool includes exact wording you can also include in exisiting wills.

Use our bequest tool

Leaving money to Giving What We Can

If you would like to leave money to support the activities of Giving What We Can, please make your bequest out following the structure in the suggested wording section below. You can specify that the donation should be restricted to Giving What We Can.

Leaving money to other highly effective organisations

If you would like to leave money in support of highly effective organisations, charities or funds, you can do so via Giving What We Can. Please specify whether you would like to either:

  • Restrict your donation to one or more of the charities or funds listed on our donation platform (be sure to set out the proportion of your donation that each should receive)*; or
  • Allow Giving What We Can to disburse the money to whichever charitable organisations it deems would be most effective at the time of the bequest.

Suggested wording for bequests

We recommend you consult with a legal professional when writing your will. The suggested wording below can help as a guide.

For donors in the United Kingdom:

I bequeath {X% or the sum of £X} to the Giving What We Can UK, a registered charity in England and Wales with charity number 1207964 and place of business at 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ, United Kingdom, or its successor organisation. Please contact in order to process this request.

For donors in the United States or elsewhere:

I bequeath {X% or the sum of $X} to Giving What We Can USA, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) public charity in the USA, EIN 93-3629215 or its successor organisation. Please contact in order to process this request.

Add the following to allocate the bequest to a specific cause or charity:

These funds should be allocated to the option listed as '{fund or charity name/s}' at the time of writing, which serves the purpose of.. {description of charities/funds eg: 'supporting highly effective work in field of global health and development'}.

Add the following to allocate the bequest to fund Giving What We Can's operations:

These funds should be allocated to support Giving What We Can's operations.

General advice regarding bequests

There are many considerations to take into account when you leave money to a charity in your will. Giving What We Can is not in a position to provide legal advice. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice on the matter, thoroughly research whether a bequest will have broader implications for your will, talk to your loved ones about your intentions, and find out how to write your will to ensure your executor can honour your wishes.

Resources — United Kingdom

The following resources may be useful if you are in the United Kingdom and are preparing a will that includes a bequest to Giving What We Can or our recommended charities. These resources are provided by third parties, and Giving What We Can cannot take any responsibility for their accuracy. We recommend that you seek advice from someone legally qualified to provide it.