There are several types of gift you can leave to the Charity in your Will.
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.
Leave a lasting lecacy
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.
Glossary of terms used in Will-making
- Will: A legal document that sets out what you want to happen to your property and the rest of your estate after your death.
- Beneficiary: Any person who benefits from a Will.
- Codicil: A formal amendment to a Will.
- Estate: Everything you own at the time of your death.
- Executor: A person you appoint to carry out the instructions in your Will. Executors are usually family, friends or professional advisers.
- Inheritance tax: The tax levied on an estate when somebody dies if it is valued over a certain amount. Contact us for more information.
- Intestacy: This is when someone dies without leaving a legally valid Will. In these circumstances the rules of intestacy apply and these determine who will administer and who will benefit from the deceased’s estate. Further information can found on the HMRC website.
- Legacy/bequest: Gift of personal or moveable property (including cash, shares, etc) left in a Will.
- Legatee: The person who receives a legacy.
- Pecuniary legacy: Making a gift of a fixed sum of money. You can link your legacy to the Retail Price Index to ensure the value of the gift is worth the same in the future.
- Probate: The application to court after someone dies to prove their Will is valid. This results in authority being granted to the executors via a Grant of Probate after any tax due is paid.
- Residuary estate: Everything you own at the time of your death, minus any legacies you have made, your debts, funeral expenses and costs of winding up your estate.
- Residuary legacy: Leaving a share of your estate. This 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.
- 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. Upon their death, the assets pass to other chosen beneficiaries (called “reversionary beneficiaries”) such as King’s College Hospital Charity.
- Specific legacy: You can leave specific assets such as property, stocks and shares or other valuables if you wish.
- Testator (male) / Testatrix (female): The person making a Will.
- Witness: You must sign your Will in the presence of two witnesses who must then sign it after you. A witness (or the married partner of a witness) cannot benefit from a Will. If a witness is a beneficiary (or the married partner or civil partner of a beneficiary), the Will is still valid. However, the beneficiary will not be able to inherit under the Will.