Questions about leaving a legacy

There can be a lot of legal terms to understand when it comes to writing your Will - here are the meanings of a few key ones, as well as some frequently asked questions on legacies.

Key legal terms

Some legal terms regularly appear in the Will-writing process. We’ve listed some of the most common ones you may find as you write or update your Will.

Assets
These are things you own that are worth money. They could be your house, your savings or shares. They could also be smaller items, such as jewellery or paintings.

Beneficiary
This is a person or institution (such as a charity) who receives a gift from a Will.

Codicil
This document acts as an amendment to your Will (instead of rewriting it), but which is signed and witnessed in the same way as a Will.

Estate
This is the total value of everything you own.

Executor
The person named in a Will to make sure the person who has written the Will’s wishes are carried out. This can be a friend or family member or can be a solicitor.

Intestacy
This is what the estate of a person who dies without having made a Will is called.

Legacy
This is a gift of assets (such as money or property) in a Will.

Probate
This is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died, where their debts are cleared, and the remaining assets are distributed according to their wishes.

For more information call the team on 0207 470 9343

Any time between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Frequently asked questions about legacies

What is a legacy gift?

Why should I leave a gift to Brooke?

How can I be sure my gift will make a difference?

What is the difference between a single Will and a mirror Will?

Does the size of my gift matter?

Should I tell you that I've left you a gift?

Can I add a gift to Brooke into my existing Will?

What if I want to change my Will at a later date?

Will I have to pay tax on the gift I leave in my Will?

What are Brooke’s charity details?

I’ve still got questions – who can I speak to about leaving a gift in my Will?

 

What is a legacy gift?

A legacy gift is a specific item or donation left in a Will. It’s also commonly known as ‘gifts in Wills’. Legacy gifts are one of the most significant contributions you can make to a cause you care about. There are three types of gift  you can include in your Will:

  • A Residuary gift - This is a share of your estate, or the whole of the remainder of your estate once your other wishes and expenses have been met. 
  • A Pecuniary gift - This is a specified sum of money that is fixed within your Will.
  • A Specific gift - This is the gift of a particular physical item or items in your Will.

 

Why should I leave a gift to Brooke?

We are incredibly grateful for any donation received, but the great thing about gifts in Wills is that they help us plan ahead for the future and help us protect vulnerable working horses, donkeys and mules for generations to come. They ensure we can direct funds to the working horses, donkeys and mules that need them most, and focus on areas where we know working animals’ needs are greatest.

 

How can I be sure my gift will make a difference?

Over half of our income comes from gifts left in Wills and thanks to these generous people we have been able to support millions of working horses, donkeys and mules around the world. Our mission is to transform the lives of vulnerable working horses, donkeys and mules - by not only relieving their immediate suffering but by also creating lasting change through working with people, communities and organisations across the world.

By including a gift in your Will you could be part of this journey. What started as a single act of compassion by Dorothy Brooke all those years ago can live on through your gift.  We will use your gift in the most efficient and effective way possible, funding projects where the need of vulnerable working animals is greatest. And because we work within communities to make a difference at ground level, the changes we make are long-term and sustainable.

So whatever gift you make, big or small, your legacy will build a brighter future for vulnerable working horses, donkeys and mules around the world far into the future.

 

What is the difference between a single Will and a mirror Will?

A single Will is a Will for an individual. Mirror Wills are two separate Wills which set out the same wishes within both. For example for two spouses or partners. The two Wills would essentially mirror what the other says.  Download your free step-by-step Will Planner to help you gather your thoughts in one place before you meet with your solicitor or Will-writing service.

 

Does the size of my gift matter?

No, it's a common myth that you have to leave a large amount of money to charity in your Will. In fact, even a small donation can make a huge difference to the causes you care about. No matter the size of your gift in your Will to Brooke, you have the power to transform the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules and protect them for generations to come.

 

Should I tell you that I've left you a gift?

If we know that you plan to remember us in your Will, we can plan better for the future. Any information you are willing to share with us would be much appreciated. You can tell us that you’d like to leave a gift by filling in the form in your Legacy Guide or calling us on 0207 470 9343 (anytime 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or emailing us at [email protected].

 

Can I add a gift to Brooke into my existing Will?

Yes. If you’ve already made a Will and want to make a small update, you can do this without rewriting the whole thing. Instead you can amend your Will with a document called a Codicil. A Codicil acts as an amendment to your Will, and will need to be properly drawn up and signed in the same way as a Will for it to be valid – so you’ll need to consult a solicitor. All types of gifts to charity can be added to an existing Will using a Codicil – and we have provided some suggested wording to help you.

 

What if I want to change my Will at a later date?

If you change your mind, that is absolutely fine, we understand circumstances may change – this is your choice and we completely respect that. Changing your Will can be done at any time. If the change is simple, this can be easily done with a Codicil - a legally binding document used to amend or update a Will. For more complicated changes a new Will may be necessary - you will need to speak to your solicitor or a Will-writing service about this.

 

Will I have to pay tax on the gift I leave in my Will?

No. Any amount you leave to a charity will usually be exempt from inheritance tax. 

If you’re worried about the Inheritance Tax that might have to be paid when you die, donating some of your money to charity – in your Will – can reduce the bill. Leaving a part or your entire estate to charity can reduce, and in some situations, eliminate the Inheritance Tax liability. This is due to the rule that states if you leave something to charity in your Will, then it won’t count towards the total taxable value of your estate.  This is called leaving a ‘charitable legacy’.

What’s more, if you choose to leave 10% or more of your taxable estate to a charity, not only will you save inheritance tax on the gift, but the tax liability on the rest of the estate will drop from 40% to 36%.  Therefore making use of these rules can reduce the cost of leaving a gift to your preferred charity. 

Your Solicitor or Will-writer should be able to provide more detailed advice on inheritance tax planning to enable you to maximise your gifts to your family, your friends and your preferred charity.

See the HMRC website for more details.

 

What are Brooke’s charity details?

If you decide to include a gift in your Will, you’ll need Brooke’s registered charity number and address, as this must be written into your Will.

The Brooke Hospital for Animals

2nd Floor, The Hallmark Building

52-56 Leadenhall Street

London

EC3A 2BJ

Charity Registration No. 1085760

 

I’ve still got questions – who can I speak to about leaving a gift in my Will?

Our legacy specialists  can help with any questions you might have about leaving a gift in your Will – simply give us a call on 0207 470 9343 any time between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.  You can also email us at [email protected]  Or write to us at The Legacy Marketing Team, Brooke, 2nd Floor, The Hallmark Building, 52-56 Leadenhall Street, London EC3A 2BJ.

 

Please just be aware that while we can certainly answer questions about the Will-writing process, we can’t give legal advice (please contact a solicitor or Will-writing provider for that).

 

 

Find out more about including a gift in your Will

SEE ALSO

No matter how big or small – a gift in your Will could protect horses, donkeys and mules for generations to come.

Our legacy specialists can help with any questions you might have about including a gift in your Will.

Find out about the types of gifts you can include in your Will, as well as practical hints on how to write or update a Will.