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Making or updating your Will

Making a Will can often seem a daunting prospect, but it’s a lot more straightforward and affordable than you might think. And it’s possibly one of the most important decisions you can ever make.

A Will can help ensure that your assets and possessions are left to those you love. You might also want to leave a gift to a charity or a number of charities that are close to your heart.

Whatever your wishes, we always recommend speaking to a legal professional if you’re considering making or updating your Will. We have included some links at the bottom of this page that can help you find a solicitor or Will writer in your area, as well as some helpful information to help you prepare for your meeting.

What are the benefits of making a Will?

  • Helps make the task of dealing with your assets easier on the loved ones you leave behind.
  • Helps ensure your assets are dealt with correctly; with your possessions going to the people you wish to receive them.
  • Protects your assets for loved ones and helps reduce the impact that inheritance tax can have on your estate.
  • If you have a loved one with a learning disability, you can make plans for them to be provided for, without putting them at risk of financial abuse or risking them losing any mean-tested benefits that they may be entitled to. You will need to speak to your legal professional about your options for setting up a trust.
  • Allows you to choose who you want to appoint as legal guardians to care for your children if you and your partner should die before they are 18.
  • Many people also like to include their wishes for their funeral arrangements, for instance, burial, cremation, or the use of your body for medical research.
  • Continue supporting the charities that have been dear to you throughout your lifetime.

Points to consider when making a Will

Work out how much your estate (the value of everything you own less debts/ expenses owed) is worth

Remember a Charity have an online gift calculator that can help provide you with a good estimate.

Decide how you would you like your estate to be distributed.

A gift of a set sum of money. It’s important to be aware that due to inflation, a pecuniary legacy won’t keep its value over time.

Choose your beneficiaries

These are the people and charities you wish to benefit from your Will. Naturally, your family and friends should always come first. However, many people also choose to leave a percentage or proportion of their estate to Livability to allow us to continue to be there for future generations of disabled and vulnerable people. You will need to make a list of the full names and addresses of your chosen beneficiaries for your professional advisor.

Name your executor(s)

Executors are the people identified in your Will to make sure your instructions are carried out. An executor should be someone you trust – for instance, a relative, a friend or a solicitor. It’s a good idea to check they’re happy to be appointed beforehand.

Visit a solicitor

They will have your Will drawn up and ensure it’s properly signed, dated and witnessed.

Store your Will in a safe place, perhaps with your solicitor, and keep a copy yourself

Tell a relative or close friend where the original copy of your Will is stored. There are also a number of commercial organisations that operate Will registration schemes.

Keep your Will up to date

Some changes in circumstance – getting married or divorced, for example – can affect your Will, so it’s important to keep it up to date.

Visit the Remember A Charity website to find a solicitor in your local area, who will be able to advise you on leaving gifts to charities when writing a Will.

Including a gift to Livability in your Will

Whatever your reason for considering supporting Livability with a gift in your Will, your precious gift will be helping to create a brighter future for disabled and vulnerable people. And for this, we thank you on behalf of all those whose lives you will touch.

If you do decide to leave a gift to Livability in your Will, there are several types of gifts you can give:

Residuary legacy

A gift made of whatever remains from your estate once all other gifts and expenses have been deducted. It’s your choice as to whether you leave the total amount of the residue to a named beneficiary, or split in into percentages to leave to a number of loved ones or charities. Even a gift of 1% to Livability would make a huge difference to our work.

Pecuniary legacy

A gift of a set sum of money. It’s important to be aware that due to inflation, a pecuniary legacy won’t keep its value over time.

Specific legacy

A gift of a specific item like a house, a piece of jewellery, furniture or an antique.

You should always speak to a legal professional when making or updating your Will to discuss what type of gift best suits your wishes and circumstances.

A gift is most useful if it’s given for the general purposes of Livability, rather than a specific project. Otherwise, if the project ceases, the gift may be invalid. However, you can always let us know your preference for where the legacy is spent by ‘expressing a wish’ in your Will – your solicitor can advise on the appropriate wording for this.

If you choose to leave a gift in your Will to Livability, or another good cause, a legal professional will also be able to advise on the correct terms and wording for your Will to meet your wishes. However, the most important thing is for you to make a note of the official charity name, address and registered charity number to give to your legal professional when writing your Will.

If leaving a gift to Livability, the details you would require are: Livability (Registered Charity Number 1116530) of 6 Mitre Passage, London, SE10 0ER.

Updating your existing Will with a gift to Livability

If you’ve already made your Will but would like to add a gift to Livability, it might be possible to use a codicil. A codicil is a legal document that’s supplementary to a Will, which would allow you to change your Will to include a gift to Livability, instead of making a new Will. It’s best to seek advice from a solicitor about whether it would be appropriate to use a codicil.

We'd love to hear from you

Contact us if you would like to discuss including a gift in your Will to Livability, or you would like more information about our work.

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