Making a Will is one of the most important decisions you will ever make and the only way to set out your wishes for the future. Many people like you leave a gift to a charity like Family Action in their Will and pass on something wonderful. Will you leave a gift to a charity in your Will?
We are part of Remember A Charity – a consortium of over 200 charities set up to raise awareness of the importance of having a Will and leaving gifts to charities. They have shared their expert steps to consider before speaking to a professional advisor.
1. What is the value of your estate?
Before you speak to a solicitor or professional Will writer, they will expect you to have a rough idea of what you own and what it’s worth. This might seem off-putting but all you need is a basic valuation at this this stage. Don’t worry about working out the exact value of everything; as long as you have a rough idea of the value of your estate, that’s enough for them to get on with.
You should think about how much the following things are worth:
- Personal possessions, including sentimental objects
- Your pension
- Any investments you’ve made
- Your business, if you own or part-own one
You also need to have an idea of any existing debts you have. These debts might include mortgages, loans and overdrafts. Again, this doesn’t have to be a precise value, but your solicitor or Will writer will need to know a rough idea of the amounts.
2. How do you want your estate to be distributed?
Gifts can be anything you own and can take the form of specific items, cash amounts, or a percentage of your estate.
By making your Will you can make provisions for the age at which young beneficiaries receive their gift or share of your estate, as well as providing for beneficiaries with health or care needs.
You may choose to use your Will to pass on business interests: for instance you could leave shares in the family company to a son or daughter who has come into the business. This is a very tax-efficient way to pass on your assets.
You can also specify family and friends who you wish to pass on personal items to.
3. Who has made a difference to your life?
After you’ve looked after loved ones, you may wish to leave a gift to a charity close to your heart. The donation can be as small or large as you like.
Family Action have a long history of supporting UK families for 150 years. We believe every child deserves the best start in life, and want to give every family the strength and resilience to do this. If this resonates, you can trust Family Action to change lives in your memory. Find out how you can change lives by leaving a gift to Family Action.
4. Who do you wish to be executors and guardians?
Another important consideration when making a Will is the appointment of your executors – the people who will deal with your estate in the event of your death – as well as guardians for your children.
Ideally, executors should be business-minded family or friends or could be professional advisors.
Read Remember a Charity Week’s guidance for executors.
5. How do you want to store your Will?
Once written, most professional advisors will offer to store your Will for you so that the Will is not lost.
It may also be worth considering storing your Will with the Her Majesty’s Court Service. When your Will is complete, you can also register it with a number of commercial organisations that operate Will registration schemes.
Find a solicitor in your area.
6. Do you own foreign property in the EU?
For those of you with foreign property in the EU, as of 2015 it became easier to leave a charitable gift in your Will.
Read our blog post to find out more about giving in the EU.
7. Have you considered your digital assets?
We all have increasing amounts of digital assets stored online, ranging from email and Facebook accounts, passwords for online accounts, to digital music and photos.
You can pass on your digital assets to family or friends when writing a Will.
Remember a Charity have a digital assets checklist to help you consider what digital assets you own and who you would like to pass them onto.
8. Talk to us
If you’re thinking about leaving a gift in your Will to Family Action, get in touch and our friendly fundraising team can help. We can answer any questions you have about our future plans, our vision and our values, we can take you to visit services local to you so you can see the kind of work you’d support.
Get in touch today on 020 7241 7608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you’re ready to write your will find a solicitor in your area or write a free Will online, using the voucher code FAMILY-FREE.