Making a Will is an essential part of your family and financial planning for the future – it allows you to set out clearly what your intentions are for the property and assets you leave behind, and to ensure your loved ones are protected and looked after.
If you die without a Will, this is called dying ‘intestate’, and the law imposes rigid rules (the Intestacy Rules) on how your estate is dealt with. These will not always benefit those that you would have wanted to, and can result in distant relatives becoming beneficiaries. The Intestacy Rules will only benefit a surviving spouse and/or your blood relatives. Unmarried partners, friends and charities will not receive anything under these Rules.
Making a Will allows you to choose your beneficiaries and ensure that your loved ones are protected and provided for. You can also leave gifts to charity and causes close to your heart.
Legacies in Wills form the foundation of some of the UK’s best known and best loved charities – indeed without them, many smaller charities would struggle to exist. Leaving a gift to charity in your Will enables you to continue to support charities you may have supported during your lifetime.
There are also tax benefits to be gained by giving to a charity. Gifts to charity are exempt from Inheritance Tax, so if your estate would be subject to this, a well-placed gift to charity may ensure that less or even no tax is paid (bearing in mind of course that your estate value may fluctuate between the date you make your Will and the date of your death).
If your estate is due to pay Inheritance Tax and you have left at least 10% to charity in your Will, then in addition to the gift itself being exempt, any tax payable on the rest of your estate is likely to be at the reduced rate of 36% rather than the usual 40%.
The rules governing this allowance are complex and your Will needs to be drafted carefully to ensure the reduced rate will apply but for those with substantial assets already considering a gift to charity, a properly drafted gift can provide benefits for the rest of the estate and your loved ones.
You can make a difference to your University in so many ways. When you leave a gift in your Will, you have the opportunity to let us know the area of work you would like it to support. You might want to help talented students to follow in your footsteps, supporting academic prizes or scholarships that reward achievement. Or you may want to help our beautiful University campuses to remain as welcoming and inspiring as they were during your time here. You can choose to remember the part of the University that is special to you.
If you would like to discuss your wishes and options relating to Wills and legacy planning matters, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01283 526 200.