How to make a Will
Thank you for considering leaving us a gift in your Will.
An up-to-date, professionally written Will is the only way to ensure the people and causes you care about are provided for. It will ensure your wishes are carried out, ease the burden on friends and family and help to minimise inheritance tax.
Here are a few questions answered to help.
What is a Will for?
A Will is a legally binding document that sets out your wishes. It specifies how your estate and belongings are to be distributed on your death. It can also help to put in place the practical arrangements that need to be taken care of when the time comes, such as who you wish to appoint as guardians to your children. It is a positive expression of those people and causes that are close to your heart.
What if I don’t have a Will?
If you die without a Will, this is called ‘intestacy’. Without a valid Will, you could end up helping the taxman out rather than the people or causes that you would want to.
How do I make or amend a Will?
It is vitally important to get independent advice from your solicitor when you are making or updating your Will. Your solicitor will be able to advise on wording, tax implications, legal requirements. He/she can also help redraft an existing Will or add a codicil if your circumstances have changed.
To find a solicitor in your area, visit The Law Society website
What do I need to do before seeing a solicitor?
It is a good idea to think about what your estate is worth before you see a solicitor. This will help you decide how you would like to distribute your estate and belongings.
Do I have to update my Will regularly?
Checking your Will from time to time is important, particularly if your personal circumstances have changed. Perhaps you have a windfall inheritance, maybe you’re getting married or possibly there’s another grandchild on the way. Whatever happens, it can be relatively easy to update your Will.
Small changes and additions can easily be made by adding a codicil. This is a legally valid document which can be appended to your Will. A codicil needs to be witnessed and signed in the same way that a Will is. If you wish to make more complicated changes or add residuary gifts, you will need to update the whole Will. Your solicitor or professional advisor can help.
Types of legacy
There are three types of gift you could leave Epilepsy Society, all of which, whether big or small will help make a real difference to our work:
- Residuary gift - a portion (eg 25%) or the entirety (100%) of everything that remains after other specific gifts, expenses and taxes have been paid. This is a great way to benefit Epilepsy Society as the value of the gift will change over the years as your circumstances change but it ensures your family is always looked after first.
- Pecuniary gift - a gift of a set amount of money such as £10,000 which if index linked (please ask you solicitor about this) can retain its value years down the line.
- Specific gift - a gift of a specific item or property.
Whichever type of gift you choose, here are some sample legacy clauses (MS Word, 23kb) to give to your solicitor. If you want to add a gift to us in an existing Will, use our sample codicil (MS Word 24kb).
Should I tell you if I have left a gift to Epilepsy Society in my Will?
You don’t have to tell us that you have included us in your Will. However, knowing that people intend to benefit us in this special way means we can say thank you personally.
To make sure we can receive the gift you decide on, whatever it may be, we ask that you use our full name, charity number and address:
Epilepsy Society, Chesham Lane, Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, SL9 0RJ
Registered Charity Number: 206186)
Please note: Epilepsy Society is the working name of The National Society for Epilepsy. Legacies made out to either name will be valid.
If you want more information about leaving a legacy to us or have a question, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we cannot provide legal advice, your solicitor is the best person to advise you, taking into account your personal circumstances.