Gifts in Wills FAQ

Frequently asked questions about leaving a gift in your Will to the National Trust for Scotland

Do I have enough to leave a gift from my estate?

Many people believe they must be wealthy to leave a gift to charity in their Will, but this is certainly not the case. Any gift, no matter the size, helps to ensure the treasures in our care continue to thrive in the future.

What do I do if I don’t have a Will?

Writing a Will is very important, as it is the only way to ensure your wishes are fulfilled, and guarantees your loved ones and the causes you believe in receive the gifts you intend for them - that’s why we recommend you ask a solicitor to help you write or update your Will. You can use the following websites to search for a solicitor near you:

Remember a Charity website

Law Society website

Law Society Scotland website

I have a Will already; what should I do?

It is easy to make minor alterations to your Will. If you simply wish to make a gift to the NTS, your solicitor may recommend a Codicil to your existing Will. Please remember that, to be valid, a Codicil needs to be witnessed in the same way as a Will.

What should I do if I have already included the National Trust for Scotland in my Will?

Thank you for supporting the National Trust for Scotland. Please consider getting in touch to tell us your intentions. This places you under no obligation but allows us to say thank you properly and include you in special events and behind-the-scenes tours of our properties. You can let us know by using our contact form.

What are the different types of gift I can make?

A residuary legacy is the gift of a share, or all, of the remainder of your estate once loved ones have been taken care of, and has the benefit that it will not lose value over time.

A pecuniary legacy is the gift of a fixed sum of money. The value of pecuniary legacies will decrease over time, as the cost of living rises. However, you may link your legacy to the Retail Price Index to ensure its worth in the future will be equivalent to its worth today.

A reversionary legacy, or life-rent, is a gift to the National Trust for Scotland after you have provided for your family first during their lifetime, and is paid to us only after the death of other named persons, for example a spouse or civil partner.

A conditional legacy is a gift which is made to the National Trust for Scotland when other beneficiaries to your estate predecease you, or your gift to them fails for some other reason.

Are there any tax benefits to leaving a gift in my will?

Yes. All gifts in wills are exempt from inheritance tax. You may wish to discuss other ways of minimising the tax burden on your estate with your solicitor. Please note the Gift Aid scheme does not apply to gifts in wills.

Should I give a copy of my will to anyone for safekeeping?   

It’s important to keep your original Will in a safe place, such as your solicitor’s office or bank. We suggest you keep a copy yourself, and let your Executor(s) know where they can find the original.

I’d like to ensure my legacy is used for a particular purpose. How do I do this?

The vast majority of legacy gifts the Trust receives are unrestricted, which allows us to use the money wherever it is most needed at the time. However, if you would like to restrict your gift to a particular area of work we are happy to accommodate this. If you plan to restrict your gift please contact us for advice first to ensure we can meet your wishes.

I would like donations to the National Trust for Scotland at my funeral in lieu of flowers; how can I make sure this happens?

Many people prefer to see donations made to the National Trust for Scotland in lieu of flowers. If this is stated in your Will, your Executors can make sure your wishes are known.

Suggested wording: 'I request that instead of flowers at my funeral, donations are made to The National Trust for Scotland, Hermiston Quay, 5 Cultins Road, Edinburgh EH11 4DF, a charity registered in Scotland number SC007410.'

If you have any other questions or if you would like to know more about making a gift to the National Trust for Scotland in your Will, please get in touch using our contact form.