A gift to us in your will gives hope.

 

Sight loss is frightening and isolating, the simplest tasks, such as finding your way around the kitchen, can be daunting. Lifelong hobbies, reading, baking, looking at old photographs, seem impossible and stepping outside suddenly becomes overwhelming.

 

With the right support, people can adapt, maintain independence and live life to the full.  A gift in your will ensures that this support will be there for generations to come.

 

When is the right time to make a will?

 

Now is the best time because it is never the wrong time. The future is unpredictable and the only way you can be certain that your wishes are met is to make a will.  In a will, you can make sure that those you love and the causes closest to your heart are looked after and someone you trust will make sure your wishes are met.

 

Don’t worry that by making your will too early in life you are prevented from dealing with all of the changes life will throw at you; births, deaths, marriages, retirement.  It is as easy to change your will as it is to make one in the first place.

 

Make an appointment to see a solicitor whilst the thought is fresh in your mind and there are some things you can think about before you attend the appointment to help the process along.

 

Make a list of all of your major assets and debts - house, mortgage, bank accounts, loans – and take it with you.  This exercise will also help you to identify if there are any special items you want to gift to a particular person.  

 

Decide who you trust to carry out your wishes and who you think will be able to cope with the responsibility of the task. These people will become your Executors.

 

If you have children, consider who to appoint as Guardians for them. This choice is clearly a personal one and should be discussed with those you have in mind to do the job should the worst happen.

 

Make a list of the gifts you would like to make and to whom.  Bear in mind that a gift to charity in your will can reduce Inheritance Tax and therefore leave more to go around to those you care about.

 

When you get to the solicitors it may be helpful for you to understand some of the terminology they will use to explain everything.

 

Legacy (also called a Bequest) – a gift made within your will.

 

Beneficiary – the person or organisation receiving the gift.

 

Executors – the person who will ensure your wishes are carried out.

 

Estate – the total value of all of your assets less liabilities.

 

Residuary legacy – a gift of what is left over from an estate once all pecuniary gifts, expenses and tax has been paid. Sometimes people divide their residuary estate between a number of beneficiaries in equal shares or specified proportions.

 

Pecuniary legacy – a gift of a fixed sum of money.

 

Specific legacy – a gift of a particular named item. 

 

Inheritance Tax – a tax levied on the assets of your estate if it is over a certain value.  Gifts to charity are deducted from your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated and can therefore lessen the impact of tax on the gifts made to other beneficiaries.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Jo Ellis on 01902 880111 or email legacies@beacon4blind.co.uk