Will Aid 2022: Why we get involved
By Private Client solicitor Dan Pinder
We are always proud to take part in Wills initiatives like Will Aid 2022, allowing us to help people make sure they have a Will in place, and support these worthy causes in several ways.
Will Aid in particular is an excellent campaign which encourages people to make their Will and make a donation to charity. As part of the process, we also take the opportunity to remind people they can leave a further gift to one of a number of fantastic charities at the same time in their Will.
A lot of charities rely on legacies from estates, often left by long term supporters or people who have themselves benefitted from that charity in their lifetime. But, there’s also a growing number of people wanting to ‘define’ their own legacy and continue to make a difference after their death, who are using their will as a way to make a donation to one or more charities in their Will.
By supporting Will Aid we can help raise awareness of how you can play your part in supporting the vital ongoing work of charities including Save the Children UK, the British Red Cross, ActionAid UK, Age UK, NSPCC, Christian Aid, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund), and Trócaire .
Why is it important to have a Will
Making a Will allows you to document your wishes in a clear and concise way for the benefit of your family and those you wish to inherit from your estate.
You can choose executors and trustees to look after your estate during the administration period, this is the time between date of death and when gifts are given out. You can make specific wishes in relation to your funeral and, if appropriate, what happens to your ashes. You can make specific or general gifts to people and / or charities, or even leave your entire estate to an individual or charity.
You can also make provisions for what happens if your chosen beneficiary passes away before you, though we would always recommend keeping a Will up to date to avoid complications like this.
It is important to make plans ahead of time, especially if your estate is taxable. It’s useful to know that gifts to charities are exempt from tax so this can be a method of reducing an estate for inheritance tax purposes, while also providing a valuable legacy to support one or more worthwhile causes.
If you have vulnerable beneficiaries you can select specific trustees who would look after their money and make sure that person is protected. And you can make gifts on trust which can help to ring-fence gifts for individuals with specific or complex needs.
What happens if you don’t have a Will?
Without a Will in place, you run the risk of your estate going to someone you might not want to benefit. In law, the rules of intestacy state an order of inheritance and who can control your estate.
This may not necessarily be the person or people who you are closest to in life, and it could lead to disagreement and bad feeling between those who are left behind if there is any question over your genuine wishes.
If you want to give specific gifts which have sentimental value you must write this into the Will or the gift cannot take place. The item is likely to form part of your ‘residual estate’ and would therefore be owned by the beneficiary of your residual estate who may not know or want to honour the gift.
Be clear, if you want someone specific to receive your football shirt collection or Grandad’s antique clock, you need to write it down!
If you do not have a Will, things could turn nasty after your death as your estate could be contested, leading to increased cost, time and emotional strain on your family.
The aim of a Will is to provide clarity at a difficult time, so your loved ones can follow your wishes.
Will Aid 2022
Will Aid 2022 is supporting nine charities: Action Aid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, SCIAF, SightSavers and Trocaire.
Will Aid asks for a donation of £100 for a basic Will or £180 for a pair of mirrored Wills (usually for a couple) in lieu of payment to the solicitor.
If you would like to support Will Aid 2023 visit the Will Aid website.
For more information on Wills, Probate, Trusts, Estate Planning and Lasting Power of Attorney, contact Daniel Pinder at Vincents Solicitors on 01772 555 176 or email email@example.com