RSPB

Frequently asked questions

Hedgehog foraging in leaves

Image: Ben Hall

This section answers questions we are often asked by people thinking about including the RSPB in their Will. If your question is not answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us. 

Important note

Simple errors in wording can create confusion and delay in carrying out people's wishes. This is why we strongly recommend you use a solicitor to prepare your Will.

It is important, for instance, that the RSPB's name, address and registered charity number are put properly into a Will.

The address of our headquarters is:

The RSPB
The Lodge
Sandy
Bedfordshire
SG19 2DL

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

Many people make false assumptions about what will happen to their estate if they do not have a Will. Not leaving a Will could result in lengthy and expensive complications for your family to sort out.

Now, if you haven't already done so. If you already have a Will, you should review it regularly, particularly when your personal circumstances change. For example, if you get married or divorced, you have new children or grandchildren, or you move house.

Yes, although a 'do it yourself' Will may prove to be a false economy. One tiny error can invalidate the entire Will, so we strongly recommend that you employ a solicitor to do the work.

Legacies to registered charities are exempt from inheritance tax. In certain circumstances, especially with larger estates, a charitable bequest can be a useful way to avoid the payment of inheritance tax on some or all of your estate.

Because gifts in Wills make up about one third of our total income, having an idea of the number of gifts we are likely to receive in the years ahead can help shape our plans.

We would like to acknowledge the kind gesture, and by way of a thank you for letting us know we will send you the book, A Living Heritage, which is about our network of nature reserves.

Many people prefer to see donations made to the RSPB in lieu of floral tributes. If this is stated in your Will, the executors can make sure that your wishes are known. The following wording will ensure that your wishes are met:

'I request my executor to ensure that instead of flowers at my funeral, donations are made to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Charity registered in England and Wales no 207076, in Scotland no SC037654, of The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL.'

If you have any queries on the wording, please contact us. Further information on how family and friends can make In Memoriam gifts can be found in the In Memoriam section of the website.

Your estate is everything that you own, including your house, money and any life insurance policies that will be paid on your death.

A ‘Specific legacy’ is the gift of a specific item or asset such as shares or jewellery.

A ‘Pecuniary legacy’ is a fixed sum of money. It is worth bearing in mind that inflation can reduce the value of pecuniary legacies over time, so it is worth reviewing your Will on a regular basis, whether or not your circumstances change.

A ‘Residuary legacy’ is a gift of all or part of your net estate (what remains after all taxes, specific gifts and the cost of administering the estate have been paid). This type of legacy should be expressed as a percentage or share of your estate.

Executors are the people chosen by you to carry out the instructions contained in your Will. If certain conditions are met, you can choose the RSPB to be your executor. Please contact us for more information.

In certain circumstances, we will be happy to act as your executors, and we are very experienced at doing this.

IMPORTANT: please call us first to let us know your plans. If it is appropriate to proceed, we will be happy to provide you with the suggested wording for this part of your Will.

I would like to leave a gift to the RSPB in my Will. What wording should be used?

If you have decided that you would like to leave a Gift to the RSPB in your Will, the following are suggested wordings for you to share with the solicitor who is preparing your Will.

A gift of a share of the estate (a residuary gift): 

’I give to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Charity registered in England and Wales no 207076, in Scotland no SC037654, of The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL, (hereinafter called the RSPB) the residue (or % share of the residue) of my estate absolutely and I direct that (i) the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of the RSPB and (ii) a receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by the Council of the RSPB shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my executors.'

A fixed sum (a pecuniary gift):

'I give to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Charity registered in England and Wales no 207076, in Scotland no SC037654, of The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL, (hereinafter called the RSPB) the sum of £_______ and I direct that (i) the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of the RSPB and (ii) a receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by the Council of the RSPB shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my executors.'

Speak to an adviser

We're always happy to have an informal and confidential chat about the best way your donation can be used to help wildlife and the countryside. David covers Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and northern England. Neil covers southern England.

David Beach

David Beach

Senior Legacy Adviser

Telephone: 01767 693306

E-mail: david.beach@rspb.org.uk

Neil Barton

Neil Barton

Senior Legacy Adviser

Telephone: 01767 693276

E-mail: neil.barton@rspb.org.uk

Administration of legacies

If you are an Executor or Solicitor acting in connection with the administration of an estate where the RSPB is bequeathed a legacy, find more information here. More...

Administration of legacies