Your guide to gifts in wills

Leave a gift in your will to Shelter – and help define a new era.

Now's the time for real change

We estimate that 17.5 million people across Britain are now living in the grip of the housing emergency, forced to navigate a minefield of unaffordable rents, unsuitable conditions and a welfare system that is not fit for purpose.

We believe that having a safe home is a fundamental right. A crucial foundation for people to thrive.

If you agree, and you’ve had enough of watching government after government fail to do what’s needed, then now’s the time to do something about it.

Leave a gift in your will to Shelter

We know that to properly solve the housing emergency we need the kind of change that will define a new era. One where millions of people can escape the hell of homelessness and unsafe housing forever.

Change won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. But together, we can do it.

This isn’t small change, it’s huge – and it will take a lifetime.

A woman smiles as she carries her young sister on her back

Our vision for change

A new generation of social homes

Your gift could help bring about a historic renewal of social housing so that, in the future, everyone has a place to call home.

Fight for housing rights

Your gift could help our support services stand shoulder to shoulder with people as they fight for their housing rights – and tackle injustices like unfair eviction.

Force through new rent reform laws

Your gift could help fuel the campaign for renters' rights, and protect people from exploitation and unsafe housing.

Create a movement

Your gift could help galvanise a movement that forces the government to recognise the housing emergency – and take action to end it.

This is what change looks like

Now, I’m happy and secure. My son is overjoyed. I’m just really, really grateful to Shelter.

When Sarah’s mum died just weeks after a cancer diagnosis, Sarah didn’t expect to lose her home as well. Sarah and her family were forced to move out of the housing association home they’d shared with her mum. And for the next three years Sarah, her son Ishmael, and later baby CJ, lived in temporary accommodation – sometimes without light, heating or hot water.

‘If I didn’t get any help from Shelter, I probably would have ended up in another temporary accommodation. Then how would I live for the future?’

For families like Sarah’s, home really is everything. But right now, 101,300 households are living in temporary accommodation in England. The highest level in almost 20 years. We need change – big change.

With your gift, you could help families like this find a safe and stable home.

Sarah smiles as she holds CJ, her young child

Will you give people change?

We need big change to solve the UK’s housing emergency – and by leaving a gift to Shelter in your will, you can be part of it.

Once your loved ones are taken care of, a gift of any size – big or small – can help struggling families get the support they need and give us the strength to define a new era.

I’m sick of seeing the housing emergency get worse and worse. That’s why I’ve decided to leave a gift in my will to Shelter, because I want to give people change – and be part of something huge.

Will you join me?

Claire

Types of gift you can leave

A share of your estate

You can leave Shelter a percentage of your remaining estate, once all other gifts and debts have been paid.

Known as a residuary gift, this type of gift will not be eroded in value by inflation over the years. And even a small percentage can make a big difference.

A cash gift

You may wish to leave a specific sum of money, known as a pecuniary gift. If you choose to do this, remember to keep your will up to date so your gift doesn’t lose its value over time.

An item of value

Some people decide to gift us specific items of value, such as works of art or property. By leaving a property to Shelter, you'll defend the right to a safe home for thousands of families. For example, a house which sells for £290,000 could help a staggering 10,000 people get advice by making a call to our emergency helpline and avoid losing their homes.

Write your will for free

We’ve partnered with will writing experts to give you the chance to make or amend your will for free.

We’d really appreciate it if you decide to remember us when you do, but you’re under no obligation to leave a gift to us when using these services.

Write your will for free

National free wills network logoFarewill logo

Ways to write your will

Face to face

Use the National Free Wills Network to get your will made using a trusted, local solicitor. You can refer yourself by requesting a free will writing pack. Alternatively, email your name and address to legacies@shelter.org.uk or call 0344 515 1617.

Request a will writing pack

Online

Write your will online for free with expert will writers, Farewill, and get support via chat or phone.

Start your will online

Telephone

Speak to one of Farewill's will specialists on the telephone and have your will sent to you by post to sign.

Request a callback or call 0208 050 2686 and quote ‘Shelter’.

Useful information

Finding a solicitor

Making or changing your will is simple if you have the right professional help. To find a solicitor, contact the Law Society of England and Wales or telephone 020 7320 5650. Before you see your solicitor, you may wish to complete an asset checklist and take it with you to your appointment.

Inheritance tax

Gifts in your will to registered charities are free of inheritance tax (IHT). So if the value of your estate is more than the tax threshold, a gift to charity could reduce the burden of IHT. Also, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity, this can reduce the rate of IHT from 40% to 36% on some assets. Find out more information about inheritance tax.

Keep your will safe and up to date

Wills often get lost or mislaid over time, so make sure to keep yours safe – and up to date. We recommend leaving a copy with your solicitor, or with someone you trust. Alternatively, you can register your will with the National Will Register, for a small fee.

Will writing resources

You can download these resources to help you with writing your will.

If you've decided to leave a gift in your will to Shelter, we’d love it if you told us. Knowing helps us to plan for the future, and it means we can say thank you properly.

Tell us your plans

Contact us

If you have any questions about leaving a gift in your will to Shelter, please contact Daisy in our Gifts in Wills team.