Many people find the whole area of wills and legacies confusing or even frightening. We have put together some common legacy questions for you, which we hope will answer some of your queries.
I've included a gift, but your name has changed?
Thank you very much for including a gift to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in your will. The fact that your legacy may have been made out to our previous name, Leukaemia Research Fund, will not cause any problem as all appropriate measures have been taken to ensure that we will receive your gift, even if you have not included our current name.
What basic information do I need to include?
The most important bits of information to include are our name, our address and our registered charity number: which are:
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research
39-40 Eagle Street
Registered charity 216032 (England & Wales) SC037529 (Scotland)
How do I leave a legacy?
Including Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in a will is a straightforward, easy and cost-effective way to support our work. It simply involves adding a short paragraph (clause) to your will. We would always suggest that you use a qualified solicitor to assist you with this.
If you have any specific questions, please contact us. We'll be happy to answer your questions.
Can I add Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to my existing will?
If you already have a will, it is important that you keep it up to date. Fortunately, making changes to an existing will is very straightforward.
If you want to add Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to an existing will, your solicitor simply attaches a written instruction, called a ‘codicil’.
If there are a number of changes you want to make, it may be better to make a new will, which your solicitor can help you with.
Our codicil form can be found here.
Do I have enough to leave a legacy?
A common misconception is that a legacy has to be an enormous sum of money. This is not the case. Any gift left in a will, no matter how large or how small, is important to the charities you support.
Pecuniary or a residuary legacy?
The two main types of legacies that people leave are: residuary and pecuniary.
A residuary legacy is when a person leaves a percentage of their estate to a charity. This means that, however much your estate is ultimately worth, you ensure your loved ones are looked after as well as giving a gift to your chosen charity. It also means you don't have to keep altering your will as your circumstances change.
A pecuniary legacy is a defined sum of money.
We recommend however that you consult your solicitor on what is best for your particular circumstances.
What about inheritance tax?
If the total value of your estate is over £325,000 (the threshold set for the 2013/2014 tax year), your beneficiaries will have to pay 40% inheritance tax on the amount over £325,000.
However, with effect from April 2012, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity, your estate will be taxed at a lower rate (36% rather than the current 40%) on any part that qualifies for Inheritance Tax.
Each individual's tax situation is different, and we always recommend consulting with your solicitor when making any changes to your will. For more information regarding the changes to inheritance tax, please go to www.hmrc.gov.uk
How much inheritance tax will I have to pay?
If the total value of your estate is more than £325,000* it will be liable to inheritance tax (IHT) at 40%* before any other bequests have been paid.The exception to this are gifts left to a spouse or to a charity. In the former case, the whole estate will be taxed on the death of the spouse. Because gifts to charity are tax free, some people choose to leave a charitable bequest in order to legally reduce their inheritance tax liability. Here’s how it works:
Now look at the same figures with a £20,000 bequest left to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research:
You can also reduce your inheritance tax liability by making gifts during your lifetime. Your solicitor will be able to provide you with details.
*Based on 2013/14 IHT threshold and tax rate
Does Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research offer a will-writing service?
Unfortunately we cannot draft your will or recommend specific solicitors, but if you have any general questions in relation to leaving a gift to us please do contact us.