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gifts and legacies

There may be people to whom you wish to give specific objects or sums of money. Or you may wish to leave money to charities or other organisations. If you wish to leave money to charity then you will need to be sure that the right charitable organisation is named. There are many charities that are very similar. If it is an organisation you already support you should obtain their charity number (it should be quoted on all official correspondence and other literature). We will be pleased to give any advice that may be needed and we always cross reference information with the Charity Commissioners database.

In regard to sums of money it is appropriate to consider whether they should be linked to the Retail Price Index to avoid the passage of time eroding the value of the legacy and possibly requiring the Will to be rewritten. If mental capacity is lost through age, illness or accident then it will not be possible to change the Will to update the amount. Linking legacies to the Retail Price Index is not always appropriate but is well worth considering. We shall be pleased to explain how it works.

It may be appropriate to consider whether a gift or legacy should be a second death provision. For example, if items are left to children who are minors when the Will is written that should normally be a second death provision. Otherwise, if one parent dies while the children are still minors then the item or items will likely be given to the survivor for safekeeping. If something happens to them before they pass the items on then those dealing with their estate may not realise to whom those items actually belong. Without being mentioned in both Wills the items may not be passed on as intended.

It is not usually a good idea to make a gift of an item if it is the intention that the recipient should benefit from the value of that gift because if a specific item cannot be found or has been lost or broken then the gift fails. The Executors do not have to give the value of the item to the beneficiary instead. This is because the gift of a specific item is simply that: a gift of the item itself and is not normally deemed to carry any financial intent.

If any of this sounds complicated just remember that we always help clients make the most appropriate arrangements to achieve their intentions. We explain everything fully and without jargon.