Guide to leaving a gift in your will

'But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.' (2 Corinthians 8:7)

By making a will you are able to ensure that your dependents, such as your spouse and children, will be provided for beyond your lifetime. It is also an opportunity to give a gift to your favourite charity or ministry. Such significant gestures of generosity can make a real difference to charitable projects, and offer a gift of hope that will have positive repercussions long after your death. Making a will also fulfils the calling on Christians to be responsible stewards and to use what God has given us as a testimony to His goodness.

People sometimes ask us what sort of things people leave as a legacy to Embrace the Middle East and why it’s important for Embrace to receive legacies.

The most common legacy we’re left is a residue (or percentage) of the estate, after family and friends have been provided for. A residuary legacy does not lose its value over time in the way that a pecuniary legacy (fixed amount) does.

Legacies are important to us because they represent a lasting gift – investing in the lives and futures of vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the Middle East. At Embrace, legacy gifts go into our general fund, which allows us to send money where it’s most needed. Having a ‘legacy pledge’ can help us to plan for future years.

- See more at: http://www.embraceme.org/why-make-will#sthash.vPZt9Gmb.dpuf

Thank you for considering leaving a gift in your will to Embrace the Middle East. Here you will find steps to take that will help you decide what is best for you. Please note, we strongly recommend using a solicitor to draw up your will.

  1. Think about the value of your estate

Firstly, work out the likely value of your estate by making a list of the things you own such as house, car, valuables and savings with an estimate of their value. You should then offset that amount against your liabilities such as mortgage, loans and credit cards.

You should also keep a record of any significant gifts of property or money worth above £3000 that you have made during the last few years or that you plan to make. Gifts given in the seven years before your death need to be recorded for Inheritance Tax purposes.

  1. Consider the types of gift you can leave

There are a variety of ways to leave gifts to Embrace in your will. The most common types are listed below:

Pecuniary gift

A pecuniary gift is a specified and fixed amount of money.

Pecuniary gift may decrease in value over time eg £1,000 pledged now may not be worth as much in real terms in 10 or 20 years’ time. However, you can specify in your will for your pecuniary gift be index-linked, which means it would increase in line with inflation.

Specific gift

A specific gift is where you leave a particular item of value to the charity e.g. a painting, jewellery or a piece of furniture which would be valued and sold by the charity.

Residuary gift

A residuary gift is where your will specifies that a percentage of the value of your whole estate will be left to a beneficiary. The value of this gift is calculated after any pecuniary gifts have been paid out.

This type of gift is particularly helpful to a beneficiary as it usually increases in value over the years, in line with inflation.

There are tax considerations when leaving a substantial proportion of your estate to a charity you may wish to take into account. For example, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to an exempt beneficiary (for example a charity) then there will be a 10% reduction on the estate’s overall Inheritance Tax bill. I.e. Inheritance tax is normally charged at 40% but reduces to 36% if 10% of the estate is left to charity. Tax issues can be complex, so we recommend you speak with your solicitor and/or financial adviser, especially if you are considering a residuary gift.

Gift in trust / Life trust also known as a Reversionary gift

A gift in trust is a way to help relatives and friends but still ensure your favourite chosen charities will ultimately benefit.

Using this type of gift makes some or all of your estate available for a friend or relative to use or get benefit from during their lifetime. For example, they may live in your property themselves, or collect rent from it.  Once that friend or relative has themselves died, the estate or property then passes on to another beneficiary, usually a charity.

  1. Appoint executors

Appoint one or more executors who will administer your estate after your death. Their full names and addresses should be supplied to your solicitor for inclusion in your will. Sometimes it is pertinent to appoint more than one executor. You can also opt for a solicitor to act as an executor the costs of which can be met from your estate.

  1. Decide how to divide your estate and who to include

Carefully consider the division of your estate, perhaps in consultation with a family member or close friend.

If you choose to leave a gift to a charity, you will need put their full name and registered charity number in your will.

  1. Decide who’ll write your will

We strongly recommend you use a professional to write your will.. XXXXXX info on how to find one?

  1. Writing and formalising your will

A solicitor will prepare a draft of your will and ask you to ensure that it reflects your wishes When the content is agree, a final version will be produced. To ensure it is valid your will must be signed and dated which means it must be done in front of two witnesses who must not be beneficiaries, executors, or their spouses. The witnesses must then sign it in front of you, and each other.

Click here for some sample Will wording

Your solicitor should retain the original will and you should keep a copy for reference purposes. Your executor(s) should know where the original is located.

  1. Other considerations

Think about whether you need a new will or can just add a codicil

You can make minor changes to an existing will by way of a codicil which supplements the terms of an existing will, either by adding, amending or revoking part of it.

The codicil will be witnessed and signed in the same way as a will and will be executed in exactly the same way as the rest of your will. It is wise to involve a solicitor when adding a codicil to your will.

Click here for some Codicil sample wording

Thank you for considering leaving a gift in your will to Embrace.

Here you will find steps to take that will help you decide what is best for you and what you should do to create/amend a will.

If you have already decided to leave Embrace a gift in your will, we can help you write it via two partners at a reduced rate.

If you are still thinking about it, please read on.

Think about the value of your estate

Firstly, work out the value of your estate by making a list of the things you own such as your house, valuables and savings. Make an estimate of their value and total the list. Offset that amount against the total of a list of your liabilities such as a mortgage, any loans or credit card balances.

It is important for you to keep a record of any significant gifts of property or money worth above £3000 that you have made recently or that you plan to make. This is because gifts given in the seven years before your death need to be recorded for Inheritance Tax purposes.

 

Consider the types of gift you can leave

There are a variety of ways to leave gifts in your will. The most common types are listed below:

Pecuniary gift

A pecuniary gift is a specified and therefore fixed amount of money.

Pecuniary gifts may decrease in value over time, for example £1,000 pledged in your will written now may not be worth as much in real terms in 10 or 20 years’ time. However, you can specify in your will for your pecuniary gift be index-linked, which means it would increase in line with inflation.

Specific gift

A specific gift is where you leave a particular item of value to the charity e.g. a painting, jewellery or a piece of furniture which would be valued and sold by the charity.

Residuary gift

A residuary gift is where your will specifies that a percentage of the value of your whole estate will be left to a beneficiary. The value of this gift is calculated after any pecuniary gifts have been paid out.

This type of gift is particularly helpful to a beneficiary as it usually increases in value over the years, in line with inflation.

Gift in trust also known as a reversionary gift or life trust

This type of gift makes some or all of your estate available for a friend or relative to use or get benefit from during their lifetime. For example, they may live in your property themselves, or collect rent from it.  Once that friend or relative has themselves died, the estate or property then passes on to another beneficiary, usually a charity. Therefore, a gift in trust is a way to help relatives and friends in a specific way but still ensures your favourite charity will ultimately benefit.

There are tax considerations when leaving part of your estate to a charity you may wish to take into account. Tax issues can be complex, so we recommend you speak with your solicitor and/or financial adviser, especially if you are considering a residuary gift.

Appoint executors

Appoint one or more executors who will administer your estate after your death. Their full names and addresses should be supplied to your solicitor for inclusion in your will. It is usual to appoint more than one executor. You can also opt for a solicitor to act as an executor, the costs of which can be met from your estate.

 

Decide how to divide your estate and who to include

Carefully think who will benefit from your estate, considering family & loved ones, friends and causes you have supported and cared about, choosing how to divide your estate among those you wish to benefit.

 

Decide who’ll write your will

We strongly recommend you use a professional to write your will. There are plenty of law firms available and a friend may recommend one to you. Should you wish to use a Christian solicitor, you can visit the Association of Christian Law Firms website.

 

Writing and formalising your will

A solicitor will prepare a draft of your will and ask you to ensure that it reflects your wishes. When you are happy with the content, a final version will be produced. To ensure it is valid your will must be signed and dated which means it must be done in front of two witnesses who must not be beneficiaries, executors, or their spouses. The witnesses must then sign it in front of you, and each other.

Click here for some sample wording to use in your will.

Your solicitor should keep the original will and you should keep a copy for reference purposes. Your executor(s) should know where the original is located.

 

Other considerations

Think about whether you need a new will or can just add a codicil (an amendment to an existing will)

You can make minor changes to an existing will by way of a codicil which supplements the terms of an existing will, either by adding, amending or revoking part of it. Click here for Codicil samples

The codicil will be witnessed and signed in the same way as a will and will be executed in exactly the same way as the rest of your will. It is wise to involve a solicitor when adding a codicil to your will.

 

Let us know...

You are under no obligation to tell us of your intention to leave Embrace a gift, but if you do choose to tell us, it will help us to thank you appropriately and ensure we don’t write to you asking you to consider a legacy in the future. Plus we’d love to hear what inspired you to leave a gift – sharing what inspired you may help us to inspire others.

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