Frequently asked questions - Legacies
Why do I need a Will?
By making a Will, you can ensure that your assets are passed on to the people and charities that you want. If you don’t have a Will, the state will decide how your property should be distributed
How do I make a Will?
We strongly suggest that you use a qualified solicitor to write a new Will or to amend an existing Will. You can find a local solicitor using the Law Society’s website.
You should be clear about the amount and type of gift you would like to leave to your beneficiaries, whether they are family, friends or a charity. Before consulting your solicitor, consider the value of your possessions and decide what you would like to leave, and to whom – it might be useful to jot all this down on paper.
What can I say in a Will?
When you make a Will you can say how you would like your financial affairs to be dealt with after your death. But Wills are not just about money - if you have legal responsibility for a grandchild or child under the age of 18, you can use your Will to specify who will become their guardian. You can also use your Will to say what kind of funeral you want, or arrange for the care of pets.
How much does it cost to make a Will?
The cost of writing a Will vary from solicitor to solicitor and also according to the complexity of the Will.
As a rough guide it could cost around £100 plus VAT for a straightforward single Will and £160 plus VAT for a straightforward double Will.
How do I amend my Will?
If you already have a Will, a codicil is an addition to a Will that states any changes you wish to make. A codicil is easily made by a solicitor. Adding a codicil to your existing Will may be a simple way for you to include a legacy to a charity in your will.
However, if you are making significant changes, it is advisable to make a new Will. The new Will should start with a clause stating that it revokes all previous Wills and codicils.
What are the different types of legacy?
There are several different ways you can leave a gift in your Will to a charity, or other beneficiary. We’ve outlined the main types below.
A residuary gift
This is the gift of all or part of the value of your estate, after debts, other legacies and liabilities have been met. This has the advantage of automatically keeping up with inflation.
A pecuniary legacy
You can also choose to leave a specified sum of money, which you can arrange to be increased in line with inflation.
A specific legacy or gift in kind
This is the gift of something valuable like a property, a piece of jewellery or stocks and shares. The form of wording is the same as a pecuniary gift, except that the gift is specified instead of a cash sum.
A reversionary legacy
This gift has the advantage of providing for your family first and then benefiting the charity. So when the original beneficiary dies, the gift in your will reverts to your preferred charity. Your solicitor or legal advisor will be able to provide you with wording for this form of legacy.
What about Inheritance tax?
Taxation rules change frequently. Your solicitor can provide Will tax-planning advice or arrange for the services of an accountant or tax adviser. A Will can allow you to plan your financial affairs to optimise how much you leave to family, friends and charities. For example there is currently no inheritance tax payable on a gift left to a registered charity in your Will.
Why should I choose executors?
Executors are responsible for dealing with your estate in accordance with your instructions. The role can involve handling large sums of money. If you have young children, it's best to appoint separate executors and guardians so your financial legacy is separated from the health and welfare of your dependents. Never appoint your spouse as your sole executor in case you die together.
Should I give a copy of my signed Will to anyone for safekeeping?
You can keep a copy of your Will with your solicitor or bank, as well as holding a copy yourself. It is also worth telling your executors where they can find the original.
From time to time you should review your Will to make sure it still accurately reflects your wishes and takes account of recent events in your life.
Can I choose what my legacy is spent on?
Of course you can. Whilst we welcome legacies that can be used for current priorities to allow us to meet our most urgent needs, we are also very happy to accept gifts for a particular use. That means you can choose where and what your money is spent on, for example, you might like to support a particular area of our work, such as our campaigns or road safety training.
Can I be sure my legacy will not be swallowed up by administration?
Yes you can. The last thing you want is for the money you entrust to us to be eaten up by administration costs. We already keep these to a minimum, but all legacy funds we receive go directly to fund the parts of our work that fulfil our Charitable Objectives.
As a membership subscription organisation we are able pay for any incurred administration costs and overheads from other sources.
I am an executor, where do I send the legacy payment?
All correspondence should be sent to Sue Cherry at CTC National Office, Parklands, Railton Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 9JX. Sue will reply to the accompanying correspondence and sort out allocation of funds. Cheques should be made payable to CTC.
I want to leave a gift to you in my Will. What are the details to be included in a Will?
In order for your Will to be legally binding, there are several things that you need to include. Your solicitor or professional advisor will be able to give you examples of wording to include, but you will need to include our Registered Charity number, and address.
Our registered charity number is 1147607 and our address is CTC, Parklands, Railton Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 9JX