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A Gift In Your Will

  1. A gift in your Will means a lot

It catches what’s important to you.  What you care about.

Making a Gift in your Will to Helen Arkell really is a lasting legacy.  Large or small, every gift helps us to reach out to more people who learn differently.  To support the amazing things we do to unlock potential.

  1. What kind of gift?

The gift you give might be a cash legacy – a fixed sum of money.  Or it might be an item or a particular asset – a “specific” legacy.  Or you might give a share, or the whole of your estate after any other legacies, taxes and costs have been paid – a “residuary” gift.

All gifts are welcomed and valued.  Each and every gift keeps us doing what we do best.  Everyone who leaves a gift to Helen Arkell is special to us.

  1. What about family and friends?

You’ll want to remember and provide for your family in your Will, and perhaps to remember friends too.  For most people, that’s their top priority, of course.

But making a gift to a cause you care about – a simple cash legacy or specific gift – can give in so many ways.  Families are often touched to know about the charities and issues you cared about.  Proud to know you supported them.  Happy to celebrate what your gift will achieve.

Daryl Fox, partner in the Personal Wealth and Families team at regional law firm Stevens & Bolton LLP says “One of the best things about helping people with their Wills is getting them signed and stored safely away, so that clients have peace of mind knowing their wishes will be followed. They’ve provided carefully for their families, and they’ve remembered people and causes that are important to them.  The peace of mind that’s achieved by settling your Will shouldn’t be underestimated.”

  1. What about tax?

Inheritance tax affects larger estates.  Tax can be tricky, and it’s usually going to be a good idea to get advice from a solicitor or accountant if what you own is worth more than the inheritance tax threshold (presently £325,000).

But the simple message is that gifts to charities like Helen Arkell are completely exempt from inheritance tax.

What’s more, if you leave 10% or more of your net estate to charity, the rate of inheritance tax payable on your whole estate reduces from 40% to 36%.

  1. Do I really need to make a Will?

We say, yes.

Daryl Fox says “Making a Will needn't be complex, and it needn't be costly, but experience suggests that getting professional advice is usually a good investment.”

Without a Will, fixed rules set out where your estate goes – and the results are not always what you might expect.  If you’re married with children, your husband or wife won’t necessarily get everything, and in larger estates there might be tax to pay that could have been postponed or avoided.  Unmarried partners get nothing.

A Will lets you:

  1. Choose your executors – the people who will deal with your estate
  2. Choose guardians to look after your children
  3. Remember people and causes that you care about
  4. Provide thoughtfully for your family – protecting your children, and your family’s assets
  5. Minimise the distress to your family at a tough time

It’s one of the most important financial documents you will ever make, so getting good advice when you make it is a smart move.  We recommend consulting your solicitor, or finding one using the links below.

  1. What if I already have a Will?

Minor changes (such as adding in a cash legacy) can be made to a Will using a document called a Codicil.  Your solicitor can prepare a Codicil for you, or you can use our standard form to add a gift to Helen Arkell.

If you want to make other changes, though, or if you have already made one or more Codicils to your Will, if you have made Wills in different jurisdictions, or if you have any other doubts about using the form, the best advice will always be to see your solicitor. In any event, it’s a good idea to review your Will from time to time.

Alongside the Codicil form you will find instructions for signing.  It is crucial for the validity of the Codicil that these are followed very carefully.  Once your Codicil is signed, make sure it is kept safely alongside your Will.

  1. What next?

If you’ve decided to leave a gift to Helen Arkell in your Will you’ll need our details:

Charity name: The Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity

Address: Arkell Lane, Frensham, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 3BL

Registered Charity Number: 1064646

To find a solicitor to help you make or review your Will, The Law Society is a good place to start:

http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  1. Please keep in touch!

If you’re thinking about leaving a gift in your Will to Helen Arkell and would like information or you have any questions please call us.

If you’ve already provided for a gift in your Will – thank you, you’re amazing!  But please let us know – you’ll be helping us to plan for the future, and we’d love to keep in touch.

Daryl Fox says “When we are winding up someone’s estate, it always says so much when a person has left a gift to charity.  However large or small the legacy, it shines a light on what mattered to them.”

P.S. During Covid-19 lockdown

Can I make my Will in times of lockdown and social distancing?

In the unprecedented circumstances of 2020’s lockdown and social distancing measures, many aspects of life have changed, yet many people have more time at home, and may want to use that time think carefully about settling their affairs: making or changing their Will, for example.

But is this possible?

The answer is yes; and in these difficult times we shouldn’t shy away from getting our affairs in order.  Although in an ideal world you might meet an adviser face to face to discuss your estate, family and wishes, it’s perfectly possible in most cases to make progress using telephone, email and/or video conferencing platforms such as Skype or Zoom.  Most advisers will be working remotely during the pandemic, but are still very much able to engage with you and help you with your Will and succession planning. 

You might be concerned about getting documents properly signed and witnessed.  It’s true that strict formalities surround the signing of Wills and Codicils in order to ensure their validity.  Whilst a “best practice” approach to Will signing would involve the person making the Will, and their required two independent witnesses, gathering together for the signing process (and often at a solicitor’s office to make sure the formalities are followed), the key things will be that the witnesses see the person making the Will sign, and the person making the Will sees both witnesses sign.  So it is possible for Wills to be validly signed with neighbours as witnesses over the garden fence or at the end of the driveway – observing all recommended hygiene measures of course, with hand sanitisers and different pens! 

Of course we can’t give legal advice, but we would encourage you to consult a solicitor who will be able to advise on what will work in your circumstances; some firms have even launched “drive thru” Will signing stations or special socially-distanced outdoor office spaces!

Lockdown and social distancing needn’t stop you from getting the peace of mind that having your affairs in order brings.

 

 

 

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1064646) A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company number 3432423.