Writing or amending your Will

There are three types of gift you can include in your Will. Here’s a guide to each of them, as well as useful wording to use when writing or amending your Will.

Residuary gift – a share of your estate

A residuary gift will leave Brooke a share or the whole of the remainder of your estate after your other wishes and expenses have been met. With a residuary legacy, your gift may grow over time as the value of your estate increases. You can decide what share of the remainder (residue) you want to gift to Brooke.

What to say

“I give the whole of my residuary estate (or x% of the residue of my estate) to the Brooke Hospital for Animals of 2nd Floor, The Hallmark Building, 52-56 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3A 2BJ, Charity Registration No. 1085760 for its general charitable purposes and the receipt of the proper officer of the Brooke Hospital for Animals shall be a full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.”

Pecuniary gift – a specified sum of money

A pecuniary gift is the gift of a specified amount of money. By leaving a pecuniary legacy to Brooke you can fix an amount in your Will, but its value may be reduced over the years by inflation.

What to say

“I give the sum of £x to the Brooke Hospital for Animals of 2nd Floor, The Hallmark Building, 52-56 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3A 2BJ, Charity Registration No. 1085760 for its general charitable purposes and the receipt of the proper officer of the Brooke Hospital for Animals shall be a full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.”

Specific gift – a particular item

A specific legacy is the gift of a physical item or items in your Will to Brooke. For example, this could be property, or stocks and shares.

What to say

“I give my (description) to the Brooke Hospital for Animals of 2nd Floor, The Hallmark Building, 52-56 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3A 2BJ, Charity Registration No. 1085760 for its general charitable purposes and the receipt of the proper officer of the Brooke Hospital for Animals shall be a full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.”

If you are updating an existing Will

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 above to help you. 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.

Donkey and foal

“I always thought Brooke just scratched the surface in improving the lives of working animals. But by communicating and sharing knowledge with generations of owners, they’re able to reach millions of equines across the globe. And I want to help continue that.”

Julie has left a gift in her Will as she wants to be part of a future where no working animal needlessly suffers.

Will I have to pay tax on the gift left 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.

Find out more about including a gift in your Will

SEE ALSO

As social distancing continues in the UK, see how to overcome this challenge in order to get your Will witnessed.

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

Things to consider when leaving a gift in your Will, as well as key legal terms and what they mean.