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Important Information

Charitable Status

As Cruelty Free International is not a registered charity, we are not restricted by Charity Commission regulations which can sometimes be restrictive. This allows us more freedom to use your kind legacy kind where it is most needed and to benefit animals in the best possible way at any given time

To include Cruelty Free International in your will it is important not to imply that we are a charity, as this may cause problems later. In order to avoid any confusion we would suggest that the following wording is used:

“I give to Cruelty Free International, 16a Crane Grove, London N7 8NN:

  • all the residue of my estate or
  • one (insert share, e.g. ½) share of the residue of my estate or
  • the sum of £(insert sum) or
  • a specific gift (e.g. jewellery, property)
  • for its purposes. I direct that the receipt of the Finance Manager or other proper officer of Cruelty Free International shall be a full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.”

To find out more about remembering Cruelty Free International in your will, please visit our Legacy FAQs.

You may already be aware that we also have a charitable sister arm, Cruelty Free International Trust. The Trust, whose registered charity number is 1081183, undertakes different areas of work to Cruelty Free International. For example, it researches alternative techniques to the use of animals in experiments and raises public awareness of the issues around animal testing.  The charity is also based at 16a Crane Grove, London N7 8NN.

Discussing your will in confidence

We appreciate that leaving a legacy gift is a very personal decision, and we understand you may or may not wish to let us know if you have included Cruelty Free International in your will.

Naturally, any information you provide us with will be treated with the strictest confidence and puts you under no obligation. 

However, it is useful for us to hear from our legacy pledgers as this can help us plan our work better, so if you are comfortable letting us know, then we would love to hear from you.

If you wish to discuss your legacy gift please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Remembrance and Legacy Manager, Angela Bunting, on 0300 003 0577 (calls charged at local rate) or email (Monday - Thursday inclusive). Should you have a legacy enquiry outside of these times, please contact Deputy CEO and Finance Director, Julian Littaur, on 020 7619 6987 or

Questions about making a will

Why make a will?

In a will you can make sure that your loved ones are provided for. You can also ensure that your assets are distributed in the way you want them to be. This may include some of your estate being directed towards causes close to your heart.

You may have items of sentimental value such as photographs and heirlooms which you would like to leave to particular individuals, such as family members or others who have helped you in the past.  You may have animal companions whose care you can specify in your will; for example, you may wish to discuss with a loved one whether they can offer them a home after your death or make use of a care-scheme offered by some national animal welfare charities.

What could happen if I don’t make a will?

If you die intestate (that is, without making a will), the law decides how your estate is distributed and the people you care about may not receive anything. Legal problems may arise which can be time consuming and expensive, with all legal costs being met from your estate. By making a will you can save a lot of distress and anxiety for your loved ones.

I am struggling to find someone willing to act as my executor, can Cruelty Free International act in this capacity?

Yes, as Cruelty Free International has the required Trust Corporation status, we are happy to ensure your wishes according to your will are met.  If you choose to name us as your executor, please let us know at an early stage as we would require the original will for secure storage at our Head Office

What if I live outside the UK or own assets abroad?

The law around how your will is interpreted varies from country to country. However, there have been recent cases where British citizens living in other countries have successfully ensured that UK law takes precedence over their country of domicile. Please consult your legal adviser as the laws vary depending on country and your residential status.


When should I make a will?

The sooner the better. It is particularly important at key points in your life. For example, when you marry, buy property, have children or plan long-term travel.

Should I use a solicitor when writing my will?

Yes. The knowledge a solicitor has will make sure that your wishes are fulfilled and that the document is legal and correct. A will form can be bought from some stationers but one simple mistake could prevent your wishes from being carried out. For instance, there are rules governing the way a will should be witnessed and, if done incorrectly, the whole document can be invalid. A beneficiary cannot be a witness, for example. 

In the long run, using a solicitor is cheaper than the legal costs of processing your estate if you don’t make a will, or if it is invalid.

If you don’t know a solicitor, ask someone you trust to recommend one.

What does it cost to make a will?

Fees for straightforward wills are not high and most solicitors can give you an estimate over the telephone.

We have partnered with Bequeathed who can guide you through using their free will service here.

Can Cruelty Free International help me write my will?

Our Remembrance and Legacy Manager, Angela Bunting, would be happy to help with any queries but please note that she is not qualified to advise as a solicitor would. Please contact Angela at or call her direct line on 0300 003 0577 (calls charged at local rate). Angela is available Monday – Thursday, 9am – 5pm.

What are the first steps to take when making a will?

Before meeting your solicitor it is worth preparing a list of all your assets and liabilities to find out the value of your estate, because this will save you time and money. The checklist below will help you to do this (any items of particular personal and sentimental value that you may wish to leave to specific people should be listed separately).

By subtracting your liabilities from your assets you can estimate the value of your estate. Once you know what you have to leave, you can decide how you wish to distribute it.

It is worth noting that your estate may be liable for Inheritance Tax, although the whole or any part of your estate left to a spouse is exempt from tax, provided she/he is living within the UK. The Inheritance Tax threshold and rate does change from time to time, but your solicitor will advise you on this.

You will also need to appoint one or two executors to make sure that the terms of your will are carried out. An executor can be a beneficiary of your will but must be over the age of 18. The executor will have legal duties and an obligation to follow your wishes, so you should ask the person you have in mind if they are willing to act on your behalf.


 Assets (current value)








 Car, bicycle etc.




 Bank/Building Society accounts 




 Stocks and shares


 Credit card debits


 Insurance policies


 Hire purchase arrangements 


 Pension benefits


 Unpaid bills


 Personal possessions


 Other liabilities


 Other items of value








What about my funeral costs?

These expenses will be paid from your estate and your solicitor can advise you on the likely cost. Any wishes you have concerning your funeral arrangements may be stated in your will.

Can I change my will?

You can change your will as often as you wish but this should always be done through your solicitor.

For small changes, a ‘codicil’ can be added to your will. This is a separate legal document that must be signed and witnessed in the correct legal manner. In some instances it may be necessary to complete an entirely new will, such as if you marry or become divorced. If you are in doubt about whether a particular change in your family or personal circumstances necessitates a change to your will, please speak to your solicitor.

Where should I keep my will once it’s made?

Keep it safe and tell your executor where it is. Many people leave their will with their solicitor but keep a copy themselves. Codicils should be kept with the will.

What if I my estate becomes liable for Inheritance Tax after my death?”

Occasionally, a gift to Cruelty Free International may be affected by an Inheritance Tax liability.  Fortunately, we are able to re-direct such gifts to our charitable sister arm, Cruelty Free International Trust (RCN1081183) using a simple document called a Deed of Variation that we can provide to your executors.  This helps us to ensure we are maximising the value of your gift and helping more animals in laboratories.

Useful Terms

Some of the terms you will hear from your solicitor may be unfamiliar and you may find the definitions below helpful:

Intestate - die without having made a valid will

A bequest - the promise of a gift in the event of your death

A residuary legacy - percentage or share of your estate

A pecuniary legacy - a cash sum

A specific legacy - item specified by you

Codicil - legal document to make small changes to your will

Contact Us

If you wish to discuss your legacy gift to Cruelty Free International please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Remembrance and Legacy Manager Angela Bunting, on 0300 003 0577 (calls charged at local rate) or email (Monday - Thursday inclusive).

Should you have a legacy enquiry outside of these times, please contact Deputy CEO and Finance Director, Julian Littaur, on 020 7619 6987 or

Naturally, any information you provide us with will be treated with the strictest confidence and puts you under no obligation.

Thank you for considering leaving a gift to Cruelty Free International.