You may have many questions about writing or updating your Will if you choose to leave a legacy to World Animal Protection. Here are a few answered.
Should I tell you if I have left you a gift in my Will?
If you have already remembered World Animal Protection in your Will, thank you. You do not need to tell us about your gift but we would love to hear from you so that we can update our records and keep you informed about how we plan to protect animals now and in the future.
It is better if your Will does not specify a restriction on how the funds can be used. Instead we ask that you allow us to decide how your gift will best protect animals in need, at the time it is received. Though we have long-term plans in place, animal welfare needs may change over time and it is important that we are able to protect those animals that need us most. If one particular aspect of our work means a great deal to you, please contact us to discuss your gift.
If you already have a Will and would like to include a gift to World Animal Protection, you can fill out a simple form called a codicil. It will show that you have made an addition to your Will – your legacy to World Animal Protection – without making any other changes. To help you do this and ensure that the form is valid, we recommend that you consult a solicitor. A codicil form must be signed and witnessed with the same legal formalities as a Will.
If you decide to update your Will and include a gift to World Animal Protection, you can download our codicil form to take with you to your solicitor.
You can find local solicitors who specialise in Wills, probate and tax law by contacting your local Law Society. Before you appoint a solicitor, remember to ask how much they would charge for preparing your Will or codicil, or acting as an executor.
You can appoint whoever you wish as your executor but we recommend that you gain their agreement first as it can involve a lot of work and time, particularly if there is property to be sold. Your executor can be a friend or family member or you can hire a professional, such as a solicitor, accountant or even a bank – though of course your estate will need to pay their fees.
Can leaving a gift in my Will to World Animal Protection save tax?
If the value of your estate is greater than £325,000 then inheritance tax may be deducted. The value of your assets can add up, so you should consider inheritance tax when you discuss your Will with your financial advisor or solicitor.
There is no inheritance tax due on gifts to charity and a properly drafted Will can help reduce the amount of tax payable, and increase the amount of your assets that go to your beneficiaries.
Tax is an extremely complex area of law. We recommend you speak to a financial advisor or solicitor about the inheritance implications for you – especially if you intend to give substantial sums to individuals and charities.
How should I store my Will?
Keep your original Will in a safe place, for example with your solicitor or legal adviser. You can also lodge your Will with the Probate Service (England and Wales) – ask your solicitor or legal advisor for more information. Make sure you keep a copy for yourself and that your executors know where to find it.