Information for Executors and Solicitors

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is extremely grateful for the gifts that people leave us in their Wills.

To be appointed as the Executor of an estate is a great honour, being entrusted to conduct someone’s final wishes. We understand the work and commitment that goes in to administering an estate. We appreciate that it can be challenging, time consuming and probate can be a complicated process to navigate. So, on behalf of us all at SSAFA, we thank you for taking on this responsibility to ensure your loved one’s wishes are fulfilled and for ensuring that SSAFA can continue to help to transform the lives of those in the Armed Forces community.

If you are administering the estate of someone who has remembered SSAFA in their Will, here is some information that we hope you will find helpful.

The information on this page is for guidance only. It is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice. If you are unsure of your responsibilities during the administration of an estate, it can be helpful to consult with a professional legal advisor for your own peace of mind.

The ways we can assist you:

  • Help you identify if SSAFA is the intended recipient of your loved one’s gift.
  • Explain what documentation we might need to request from you due to your loved one leaving a gift to a charity.
  • Provide you with bank details to forward your loved one’s gift to us.
  • Send you a formal receipt for your records to acknowledge when your loved one’s gift has been received.

Charity details

If you are a solicitor and have been asked to include a pecuniary or residuary gift to SSAFA in a Will, you may find the following wording helpful:

‘The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity) of Queen Elizabeth House, 4 St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 8AD. A charity registered in England and Wales Registered charity number 210760 and Scotland SC038056. Registered charity number 20202001 in the Republic of Ireland’

Getting in touch

Our Legacy team work remotely, so the quickest way to reach us is by email. Please send any queries you may have to

If you prefer to get in touch by post, our address is SSAFA Queen Elizabeth House, 4 St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 8AD.

It you would like to speak to one of the team please call 020 4570 0351.

What to do if SSAFA has been left a gift in a Will?

(Including gifts left to a SSAFA branch/division)

Our Legacy team is experienced in estate administration, we can offer you guidance on the responsibilities of an executor in estates where charities are names as beneficiaries. We cannot give you legal advice, but we explain what you need to know, signpost you to information and help you to avoid some of the more common pitfalls.

We are always happy to help so please do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

Types of gifts

Pecuniary legacy - If a specific sum of money has been gifted to SSAFA, the following information would be most useful:

  • The name and contact details of the Executor 
  • Full name of the deceased & date of death
  • The last address of the deceased 
  • A copy of the clause from the Will detailing the gift

Residuary legacy - If SSAFA has been left a share of the deceased’s estate then this can be a more complex procedure. When you are ready to apply for Probate - or earlier, if possible – please send us with a full copy of the Will plus any codicils made by the deceased and a list of the estate’s assets and liabilities. As a registered charity we have a different tax status to some beneficiaries, so some assets may need to be treated in a particular way. The sooner we can support you with this, the better.

In addition to the information above we would also request the following:

  • Copies of the estate agents’ sales particulars (where a property has been sold).
  • A copy of an independent valuation for any significant assets.
  • Estate accounts (preferably prior to distribution) or a simple breakdown of how our legacy has been calculated.
  • A tax deduction certificate, form R185 (estate income)

As a charity, we are held to extremely strict accounting standards. The Charity Commission requires us to show that we are properly entitled to every legacy which is so kindly left to us.  The easiest way for us to do this is for us to ask for the above information in case it is requested by our auditors. We ask this of every executor and mean no disrespect to you by this request- it is simply so that we can fulfil our legal obligations. 

Specific gifts – if SSAFA has been left a specific item such as a car, a medal collection, a stamp collection etc., In most cases, we would prefer that the item is sold, and the sale proceeds are paid over to us. However, each individual case is different, so before taking any action, please contact us. If we have been left property, land or shares please contact us.

Shares – SSAFA would usually prefer that shares are sold rather than transferred to us. In case of any increase in value (and a possible CGT liability), we recommend you seek legal advice about appropriating these to us before selling them on our behalf.

Property – SSAFA would hope to achieve the best possible price if a property or land is gifted to us in a Will. When property or land is to be sold, we would be grateful if you could obtain two or more valuations from local estate agents before the property is placed on the open market. It is useful if you keep in touch about any progress made during the sale, as issues such as development potential or tenants may arise, and we may be able to help. If there is an increase of value seen in the offers received from the valuations obtained, please contact us with regards to appropriating the property prior to the exchange of contracts taking place.

Paying in a legacy gift

Please supply the requested information prior to making any payment.

Once you are ready to distribute the estate, you can send a cheque payable to SSAFA the Armed Forces charity to: Legacy Team SSAFA Queen Elizabeth House, 4 St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 8AD.

If you would prefer to transfer the money by BACS, please call the legacy team on 020 4570 0351 or email at


As a UK registered charity, SSAFA is largely exempt from Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

Inheritance Tax (IHT) - IHT can be a tricky area to navigate. Please consider our exemption when calculating any IHT liability and utilise the reduced rate of 36% where 10% or more of the estate has been left to charity. If less than 10% of the estate has been left to charity, it may be possible to vary the terms of the Will to benefit from the reduced tax rate thus increasing the value of the gifts to both the charity and any non-charity beneficiaries. When apportioning any tax payable, the general rule is for the distribution to be made to the charity beneficiaries prior to the tax being deducted from the estate. There are rare exceptions to this rule which we would be pleased to discuss with you.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) - SSAFA is also exempt from paying CGT. Executors have an allowance up to which an asset (such as a property or shares) can sell over the probate valuation. Any gain in value above this is usually subject to CGT. Where there is a likelihood of a CGT liability arising, we would ask for our share of the asset to be appropriated to us (given to us on paper) before the sale takes place. This means that the estate will be able to use our CGT exemption.

The rules are complex, so to avoid the estate paying more tax than necessary, please get in touch if you have any questions about IHT or CGT. We recommend that you obtain independent legal advice to ensure that the correct procedures are followed.

Income Tax - SSAFA can reclaim income tax paid on our share of any income received during the administration. To enable us to do this, we would be pleased if you could provide us with a completed tax deduction certificate (form R185) for each financial year that income tax has been paid so that we can reclaim our share.

Other Names and Previous addresses

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association - Forces Help - 19 Queen Elizabeth Street London SE1 2LP,

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association - 16-18 Old Queen Street London SW1H 9HP

In April 2013, SSAFA Forces Help rebranded to SSAFA.

Between January 1997 to April 2013 the charity amended its title to The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association – Forces Help (abbreviated to SSAFA Forces Help) because of The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA) amalgamating with another armed forces charity, The Forces Help Society and Lord Roberts Workshops on 1 January 1997. 

The amalgamation was sanctioned by Queen’s Order in Council and is registered with the Charity Commissioners under the old SSAFA Charity Register Number 210760.

Your loved one

We love hearing more about the generous people who choose to leave us a gift in their will.

Your special memories help us see the person behind the gift and give an insight into why our work is important to our supporters. We would be so pleased to hear your stories about your loved one if this is something you feel able to do, please do contact us, though we appreciate you may not wish to do so at this challenging time.