Nobody likes to talk about it, but it is important to be prepared for when you pass away. And this isn’t only an “old persons” concern, if you have children of any age it is important to write a Will to make sure the people you love are taken care of – this is the first and most important thing.
Next is where we come in. Once all of your loved ones are taken care of you can start to think about the other passions in your life; the places and causes you really care about. Have you thought about leaving a gift in your Will to a charity you support? The gifts the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust receive from Wills is an essential support allowing the continued maintenance and protection of beautiful and vulnerable habitats and species across our region. However there are still misconceptions around legacy giving, so as part of Remember a Charity Week, I want to address five common myths I come across frequently and bust them for you.
Myth One: Wills are only for the rich
A common misunderstanding about legacy giving is that they are only relevant for the rich and famous, this is just not true! A gift in a will can be as large or small as is appropriate to you. Any kind of gift, big or small, can make a significant difference in helping a charity to achieve its vision.
Myth Two: Once written, a will is basically set in stone
For a lot of people, once they have written a will they consider it to be finished and permanent in a similar way to many other legal documents. They think it will be too complex or expensive to amend. However, an easy and inexpensive way to make a small amendment to a will (such as including a gift to your favourite charity) without adjusting the existing provisions is to include a codicil. We can send you a codicil form as part of our Legacy Information Pack. Request one here.
Myth Three: My gift won’t make a difference
People sometimes tell us that they feel hesitant to leave a gift in their will because they feel that the amount they have or want to give is too small to make a difference.
Any kind of gift can have a huge impact. It could help to maintain a wildflower meadow, go towards restoring Ancient Woodland or buy some new gloves for our volunteers. Gifts in wills provide invaluable income for the Trust, benefiting all aspects for our work across Sheffield & Rotherham.
Myth Four: The tax man will get most of it
I can’t tell you much about Inheritance Tax – I’m sure you don’t want me to. What I do know is legacies left to the Trust are free from Inheritance Tax.
Myth Five: You can only portion out your estate in your will
When wills are portrayed in the media, most of the time it is shown that an estate is divided by certain percentages which are then given to the loved one or charity they are assigned to. This leaves people thinking that this is the only way to leave a gift in their will. But the reality of the matter is much more flexible.
There are three methods of leaving a gift in a will:
– a percentage of the value of a person’s entire estate
– a gift of a specific sum of money
– a gift in kind, when a specific piece of property is given (Please contact us beforehand if you are thinking of this option as we will want to make sure we can look after it properly for you)
I hope I have answered some of your questions around leaving a gift in your will. If you have any other questions or want to discuss in confidence making wildlife your legacy, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.