If you die without a Will in England or Wales the law will decide who gets what. If you have no living family members, all your property and possessions will go to the Crown.
Writing a will is not as expensive as you might think. Solicitors can provide estimates on request, but the cost will depend on how complex your affairs are.
CHSW offer a Free Will Writing service to our supporters. Please visit our Free Will Writing service page to find out more.
Once a Will has been made, it is important to keep it up to date and account for any changes in your circumstances. For example, you may now have had a child or grandchild, you may have moved home, or your financial situation may have changed. It is also advisable to reconsider the contents of your Will regularly to make sure that it still reflects your wishes.
You can appoint whoever you like. Be sure to ask them first, as it can take a lot of time. You can also appoint a professional, like a solicitor or accountant, but your estate will need to pay their fees.
We would like to know who our generous supporters are. It gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the important decision you have made. Letting us know also helps us to plan for the future and keep you informed about our ongoing work.
A residuary legacy is the gift of the remainder of your estate (or a percentage of the remainder) after all other gifts to friends and family have been distributed and all outgoings have been dealt with.
A residuary legacy is especially valuable to CHSW because the growing value of your assets protects it against inflation.
A pecuniary legacy is a fixed sum of money that tends to decrease in value over time because of inflation. For example, a legacy of £1,000 written into a Will in 1980 would now be worth less than £380. However, it is possible to index-link a pecuniary legacy, to ensure that the legacy maintains its intended value.
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 take tax into account and maximise how much you leave to others. For example there is currently no inheritance tax payable on a gift left to charity in your will and if you leave 10% of your estate to charity, your IHT liability reduces from 40% to 36%.
Of course you can. Your Will is your document and you can include, exclude, add or remove whoever you wish. If you change your mind or if your personal circumstances change, you are free to change your Will as many times as you wish. You don’t need to let us know either; it is entirely your choice.
We understand that you may want to leave a gift to a project close to your heart - and you're entitled to do this. However, we encourage gifts left to us to be unrestricted. We're then free to use the money where it is most needed at the time.
You can choose to leave us a collection or a specific object for us to sell and use the proceeds to support our work.
If you would like to leave a collection or a specific object to us, please do get in touch to let us know and we can talk about the options available.
Yes, there are three types:
A Residuary Legacy is a percentage or share of the balance of your estate once all other payments and gifts have been made. A lot people prefer to give a residuary gift because it keeps in line with inflation and does not lose value over time.
A Pecuniary Legacy is a fixed amount of money.
A Specific Legacy can include specific items like personal possessions, land or shares.
In the UK, inheritance tax is currently paid to the government at a rate of 40% if your estate is worth more than £325,000. However, the rate might be reduced to 36% if 10% or more of your estate is left to charity.
Most gifts left to Children's Hospice South West are exempt from inheritance tax because we are a charity. You can find out more by contacting HMRC or a solicitor.