Help for executors

Managing wills where the British Red Cross is a beneficiary

During this evolving situation with Coronavirus, please do not send any cheques or mail to our head office. Please send all correspondence via email, or telephone us on 020 7877 7351 to speak to a member of the legacy team.

Legacy payments can be made via BACS (we can provide you with our bank details) and you can email us on

Thank you for your help and co-operation at this challenging time.

Administering a will

Acting as the executor of a will can be daunting. But we’re here to help.

This page gives advice on managing wills where the British Red Cross has been left a gift. It also includes links that will help executors understand what they need to do.

The information on this page is for guidance only. It’s not a substitute for legal or other professional advice.

Your responsibilities

These links will help you understand what’s involved in being an executor:

Get in touch with us

Is the British Red Cross due to receive a gift from the will you’re managing? Then get in touch with our legacy administration team. We can help you with next steps.

Telephone: 020 7877 7351


Or write to:

Pippa Garrott

Legacy administration manager

British Red Cross

44 Moorfields



Was the deceased a British Red Cross supporter? If so, let our supporter care team know. They’ll stop any further mail being sent to their address:

Telephone: 0300 456 1155 (calls charged at your phone operator’s UK landline rate)


Share information with us

As executor, you’ll need to share sections of the will with us:

Pecuniary and specific gifts

A gift of a fixed sum of money is called a pecuniary legacy. 

A specific gift, such as a piece of jewellery, is a specific legacy.

Is the British Red Cross due to receive a pecuniary or specific gift? Then please send a copy of the clause in the will where this is stated to our legacy administration team. 

We’ll make sure the gift is allocated properly.

Residuary legacies

The deceased’s debts have been paid. All specific gifts have been accounted for. Whatever’s left is known as the residuary estate.

Is the British Red Cross due to receive a residuary gift? If so, you’ll need to send us these documents when they become available:

  • a copy of the will once probate has been granted

  • a summary of the deceased’s assets and debts. This is known as a schedule of assets and liabilities

  • independent valuations of any major assets such as property, shares or antiques

  • a copy of the estate accounts. This includes the final total of assets, debts, fees and admin expenses, and how the balance of the estate has been distributed

  • a tax deduction certificate (form R185 estates income)

Know your tax obligations

As executor, you must settle the deceased’s unpaid taxes.

UK charities don’t pay inheritance tax, capital gains tax or income tax. You shouldn’t pay these taxes on gifts left to the British Red Cross.

GOV.UK has more information on tax relief when you donate to a charity.

Inheritance tax

Does the will you’re working on provide gifts to a mixture of charity and non-charity beneficiaries? Then you’ll need to check the inheritance tax payable.

If 10 per cent or more of the net estate is left to charity, a lower amount of inheritance tax may be payable on the non-charitable parts.

GOV.UK has the latest inheritance tax information. You can also check if the lower rate will apply by using the reduced rate calculator.

Capital gains tax

Charities are exempt from capital gains tax. We don’t pay tax on property, shares or other assets left to us.

To make sure this happens, use the appropriation process.

In appropriation, you confirm to a charity that you’ll sell assets on their behalf. The sale can then be made and capital gains tax won’t be deducted.

Before appropriation, executors must be sure that the assets aren’t required for the payment of debts or other legacies. 

The executor also needs to get permission from the charity to do this. Get in touch with our legacy administration team if you need help.

For more information on capital gains tax and charity gifts, see GOV.UK

Income tax

Income received by the deceased’s estate can be taxed. This includes income received prior to death, such as interest from bank accounts.

Charities can recover most of the income tax paid on their share. You can help the British Red Cross do this by completing a statement of income from estates (R185).

Dealing with other assets

Large assets

Have large assets such as land or buildings been left to the British Red Cross? Then please let us know. To maximise our gift, we’d like to be involved in the sale. This includes being consulted on marketing and any offers you receive.  To get the best price, please get written valuations from at least two estate agents. You should also check the property’s development potential.

Stocks and shares

Please let us have an up-to-date valuation of any shareholdings.

We can suggest stockbrokers who offer reduced commission rates for charities, and suggest ways to mitigate any capital gains tax.

House contents

The contents of a house, or chattel, are often sold for less than their true value. But we can help.

The British Red Cross has favourable terms with UK auctioneers. They can help us get the best price for valuable items. Get in touch and let us know what items are suitable for auction.

Acting as the executor of a will can be daunting. But we're here to help.

 Produce estate accounts

By law, executors must provide all residuary beneficiaries with estate accounts.

Estate accounts sent to the British Red Cross should include:

  • a list of the deceased’s assets and debts at the time of death
  • an expenditure account, including any inheritance tax, administration expenses and pecuniary legacies
  • an income account, giving details of interest, dividends and rents paid since death
  • a distribution account, which shows how the estate has passed to various beneficiaries, including the British Red Cross

Please send this to our legacy administration team (contact details above). 

Final approval

Before you send a gift to us, we’d like to double-check your accounts.

Sometimes inheritance tax is paid by mistake. If we can check your accounts, we can be sure we’re getting maximum tax relief on the gift.

Send the gift to us

Please send legacy payments via a cheque, made payable to ‘British Red Cross’, at this address:

Pippa Garrott
Legacy administration manager
British Red Cross
44 Moorfields

When we get your cheque, we’ll send you a formal receipt for your records.