Last will and testament documents

Action: Make an environmental bequest in your Will

A bequest in your Will can help an environmental charity

Writing a Will is very important anyway, please read the important advice in this article.

This article is based on our understanding of current (August 2023) UK law but we are not legal advisers. Please check with your solicitor or legal adviser when making your Will.

You may already know that you can leave a gift in your Will to a charity, but did you know about the other advantages of writing a Will?

By leaving a donation after your death to a charity you feel passionate about, whether a large amount or small, you could help change the future for the coming generations. There are many great charities out there doing good work – we are not going to recommend any particular one to you because supporting a charity in this way is a very personal decision.

You are never too young to make a Will.

A gift to charity can be made when you make a new or replacement Will, or by adding a codicil (an amendment) to an existing Will. When you are writing your Will, adding a bequest to a charity costs nothing extra, in fact sometimes, solicitors and charities have special arrangements which might even mean you pay no fee, or a reduced fee, for the will writing itself.

charity tin

Why make a Will anyway?

Making a Will is very important, not just so that you can remember a charity but for the following reasons too:

  • You can ensure your family and friends are looked after financially
  • Arrangements for your funeral and other wishes will be respected
  • Leaving a gift to charity can reduce the inheritance tax your family pays
  • You can name an Executor (someone you trust) to deal with your affairs
  • Sentimental items can be distributed according to your wishes
  • Without a Will, administering your estate can become complex and difficult for your family
  • In some cases, your assets may pass to the state if no Will is in place

There are three different types of legacy you could leave to a wildlife or environmental charity once you have provided for your family and friends.

  • a residuary gift is a percentage of the remainder of your estate once other gifts and expenses have been settled
  • a pecuniary gift is a specified cash sum (you can index-link this type of gift to protect it against inflation)
  • a specific legacy is where a donor leaves a non-cash gift such as property, stocks and shares, or a personal item

Do-it-yourself and online Will packs are available and can work well in very simple cases, however usually it is best to speak to a solicitor or qualified Will-writer.

It would help your chosen charity to know your intentions if you leave them a gift in your Will. This will allow the trustees of the charity to plan ahead and allow them to say thank you properly. Leaving a legacy is a very personal and important decision; rest assured that any information you provide to a reputable registered charity will always be kept strictly confidential.

Take action

If you haven’t written a Will, take advice and do so soon. Then, after providing for your family, please consider leaving a gift in your Will to a wildlife, nature or environmental charity.

Thank you.

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