Find out about different types of legacy gifts, and information you'll need to provide to your solicitor when changing or making your Will.

Different types of gift

Giving a share of your estate

This is known as a residuary legacy and it is stated as all or as a percentage (%) of your remaining estate, once all fees, outstanding costs and other gifts have been taken care of. Even a small percentage of your estate, after providing for family and loved ones, can make a real difference.

Making a gift of a fixed sum of money

This is called a pecuniary legacy.  You can link your legacy to the Retail Price Index to ensure that the value of the gift you make today is worth the same in the future.  This will prevent your gift from decreasing in value over time.

Leaving a gift other than money

A gift called a specific legacy enables you to leave specific assets such as property, stocks and shares or other valuables if you so wish.

Postponing your gift

Known as a reversionary legacy, this gift allows you to leave your estate, or part of it, on trust for the benefit of a particular person during their lifetime. They benefit from using the assets, or receiving the income from them, during their life. Upon their death, the assets pass to other chosen beneficiaries (called ‘reversionary beneficiaries’) such as King’s College Hospital Charity.

Things you need to know

How important is a Will?

Very.  If you pass away without leaving one, there are rules about how your estate will be allocated. This may mean it is not shared out as you’d like.

How much does a Will cost?

About £100, depending on where you live and the solicitor you use. Check if you have access to legal advice as part of an insurance policy.

Can I write my own Will?

Yes, that’s perfectly legal. But we recommend using a solicitor to draw up or check a Will you have written to make sure it accurately reflects your wishes and is valid. If there are errors in the Will, it can cause delays in your estate being settled. A qualified solicitor can guide you through any unfamiliar legal language and any issues that may affect your estate. If you don’t have a solicitor, The Law Society has lots of information on how to choose one.

When should I write a Will?

As soon as possible. If you already have one, you should review it regularly, particularly when your circumstances change; for example when you get married or divorced, have new additions to the family, or move house.

What are the tax advantages of leaving money to charity?

If your estate is subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT), that is payable at a rate of 40 per cent. However, by making some simple plans, the amount of IHT payable can be significantly reduced. For example, gifts to UK-registered charities, such as King’s College Hospital Charity, are exempt from IHT. The gift will be deducted from your estate before the tax is calculated. Another benefit is that, if your charitable gifts total 10 per cent or more of your chargeable net estate, the IHT rate on the whole estate will be reduced to 36 per cent. Please check the HMRC website for up-to-date information.

I would like my gift to be used to purchase a piece of equipment or fund a specific area of research. How do I do this?

We’ll always follow your wishes, but the medical landscape may change. In order for the charity to benefit from your gift, it is helpful if such requests are stated as a preference rather than a condition in your Will. You can make specific arrangements and get further information by contacting us.

Do I need to tell you my intentions?

If you decide to make a gift in your Will we’d be grateful if you could let us know. We’d like the opportunity to thank you and keep you up to date with what’s happening at the hospital. This is a very personal and often private decision and you’re under no obligation to let us know of your intentions. Telling us about the gift in your Will is not binding in any way and you can change your mind at any point.