Leaving a legacy - A gift in your Will
Anyone can include a gift, large or small, to a charity when they make a Will.
Please read on if you would like to find out more about doing this – legacy gifts have made such a difference at The Elizabeth Foundation over the years. You might be able to help us in this way too.
“When we arrived at the Foundation just weeks after Emily had had meningitis and
days after she had been diagnosed as profoundly deaf we were a mess. The staff at The
Elizabeth Foundation did not even blink. They calmly welcomed us in, supported us and
for the next 3 years showed us how Emily’s life, whilst different to what it would have
been, could be no less enjoyable. The sky is still the limit for her and we will be
eternally grateful to them for getting us through that difficult time.”
John and Nicki Sharpley
Why choose the Elizabeth Foundation for a donation?
You may already know about our work with very young children and babies who have a hearing loss, and their families. Here on this website you can read more about how we support the whole family, advising and guiding parents and giving them the information and confidence they need to help their child. We offer group sessions and individual sessions, drawing on the expertise of our teachers of the deaf and speech and language therapists, and giving children and families the chance to be with their peers. Our Home Learning Programme reaches out to families who live further away, and we share our expertise and long experience with other professionals by welcoming them to observe our work in action, or through our conference and presentations programme.
Click here to read in their own words about how families have benefited from our work.
We are a busy, fundraising charity and we rely on the support and generosity of our donors to meet our running costs, pay for special projects, and to enable The Elizabeth Foundation to be here for tomorrow’s deaf children and their families. By leaving us a gift in your Will, you are joining that community of support which is giving so much vital help to children with a hearing loss and helping them learn to listen and speak.
So what should you do next?
Making a Will and keeping it up to date is very important. If you don’t do this you cannot be sure that your money and property will go to those you want it to go to. You will want to look after your family and friends, but you can also use the opportunity to consider leaving gifts to help charities and causes close to your heart. By talking to a solicitor or other professional advisor, you can make sure your wishes are clear and also plan for tax (gifts to charities will be free of inheritance tax).
Choose a solicitor. This need not be expensive if your financial or family situation is quite simple, and a solicitor will always tell you what the fees are likely to be before he or she starts work. There are hazards in drawing up your own Will without advice. You need to be sure you do not omit anything important, and that the Will has been drawn up in a proper legal format. The clearer your wishes are, the easier it is for those you leave behind. If you do not already have a solicitor, try using the Law Society website a http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ to find a nearby solicitor with experience in dealing with Wills (known as Probate).
Your professional advisor will help you think about what to include in your Will. You will need to think about all the things you own, and who you would like to pass these on to. But this can also be your opportunity to express your wishes about funeral arrangements and how you would like to be remembered. You might also want to appoint legal guardians to take care of your children if you or your partner should die before they are 18. You also need to think in terms of who your executors will be, ie the people who will deal with your estate when you die.
Decide who the beneficiaries will be (beneficiaries are the people or organisations that receive gifts in your Will, whether these gifts are cash or other assets such as your house or items of jewellery). These might be your children and immediate family, your surviving partner, and your friends. You can also continue your support for charities and inspirational causes, by leaving a gift to them too – it does not matter whether the gift is large or small; your chosen charity will receive it with gratitude and put it to good use. Remember also, charities do not have to pay any inheritance tax on the gifts you leave to them.
What sort of legacy can you leave?
There are four types of legacy gift that you might include in your Will:
- A specific sum of money – Pecuniary Legacy
- What is left after all your other wishes have been carried out and expenses met – Residuary Legacy
- A particular item of value – Specific Bequest
- A gift to be made only upon the death of the person you first intended to benefit – Conditional Bequest
Your professional advisor can help you consider this, and you will probably have more than one type of gift in your Will if you have a range of different beneficiaries.
Where can you go to for more help?