Is it hard to make a Will?
Making a Will is a straightforward process and is not as costly as many people assume. If you want to make a Will, you should make an appointment with a solicitor who will help you through the process.
Before instructing a solicitor, check how much they charge and, if possible, get recommendations from those around you. You may be entitled to legal aid if you are 70 or over; disabled; a parent of a disabled person and wish for that person to be provided for in the Will; or a single person that wishes to appoint a guardian in the Will.
There is also more information online that can help you learn about writing a Will on the following sites:
How do I leave a gift in my Will to SRUK?
If you wish to include a gift to SRUK in your Will, you will need our registered name, address, and charity number:
Registered name: Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK
Address: 18-20 Bride Lane, London, EC4Y 8EE
Registered charity number: 1161828
You will need to think about a few things before making your Will:
- Who will be your named executors
- Calculate the value of your assets, including smaller items to larger assets (such as property, savings, and investments)
- Choose family and friends you’d like to remember and then consider whether you would like to leave a charity gift.
A valid Will must be:
- in writing
- signed by the testator (the person who is making the Will)
- signed by two witnesses (who cannot be beneficiaries of the Will)
The testator must also have ‘capacity’, i.e: they must have the ability to use and understand information and communicate any decision made.
What kind of legacy can I leave?
There are various types of legacies. These are the most important types:
Residuary Legacy is where you can leave residue or part residue of an estate to SRUK once all gifts, debts, taxes and costs associated with your estate have been taken out.
Pecuniary Legacy is where you can leave a specified fixed amount of money.
Specific Legacy is where you can gift a specific item, such as a piece of art or a special collection to the charity. The charity will then either use the item left to the charity or sell the item with the proceeds for the benefit of the charity.
But what if I already have a Will? Can I still leave a legacy to SRUK?
If you already have a Will, changing it to include SRUK is a straightforward process.
A solicitor can easily draft an addendum, called a Codicil. Codicils are usually cheaper than writing a new Will and by using a Codicil, you can change anything from a single word to many different sections of your Will.
It is highly recommended that you only use Codicils for very small changes so you don’t over complicate your Will.
For more information on this you should consult a solicitor.
Does leaving a gift in my Will reduce Inheritance tax?
You will only need to pay Inheritance Tax if your estate is over a certain value (known as the Nil Rate Band). You will pay tax on the portion of your estate which is over the threshold and this is currently charged at a rate of 40%. The threshold can change so make sure you keep up to date with any changes to the rules.
Gifts left to charity in Wills are free from inheritance tax so can, in some circumstances, reduce the amount of inheritance tax that might otherwise be payable on your estate. We would always recommend that you seek a solicitor’s advice in relation to inheritance tax, as this is a complicated subject.
You can find more information on Inheritance Tax and how it works on the Government website and the Money Advice Service website.
What if I change my mind or my circumstances change?
Your Will can be updated at any time, just contact your solicitor.
If you experience a life changing event such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, grandchild, a new pet, a new house or the death of a beneficiary, your Will should be reviewed and updated to reflect your changed circumstances. It is usually recommended that you review your Will every three to five years.
Where can I keep my Will?
Your solicitor (or Will writer) may offer to keep your original Will safe for you. Make sure that you keep at copy in a safe place too, along with any other information that your executors will need about your property, accounts and any investments or insurance policies that you may have.
The Scleroderma Society or the Raynaud's and Scleroderma Association is already a beneficiary of my Will. Do I need to change it?
SRUK was formed in March 2016 when two existing charities merged: The Scleroderma Society and the Raynaud's and Scleroderma Association.
If you have already written a legacy for one of these two charities into your Will, don't worry. Your gift will not be lost, and you do not need to make any changes to your Will. The two charities remain registered but are not operational. This means when your gift is received, it will automatically pass to SRUK.
If you are going to leave a gift to us in your Will, or have already done so, we would like to say thank you.
Alternatively, if you have any questions at all about making a legacy gift, please get in touch with us on 020 3893 5998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glossary of legal terms
- Beneficiary/ Benefactor: an individual (or an organisation) who receives a gift in a Will.
- Codicil: a document that allows a simple update or change to the Will.
- Estate: the entirety of a person's assets at the time of their death, including money and property.
- Executor: the person who has been legally appointed to carry out the instructions in a person's Will.
- Inheritance Tax: tax paid if a person's estate is worth more than the Nil Rate Band threshold when they die. The nil rate band is currently fixed at £325,000 and the tax rate is fixed at 40%.
- Legacy: a gift left to a person (or an organisation) in a will.
- Pecuniary Legacy: a gift of a fixed amount of money.
- Residuary Legacy: a gift consisting of the value of
- Solicitor: A legal practitioner who deals with legal matters.
- Specific Legacy: A gift of a particular possession or item.