Drafting a Will

 


The Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust strongly advises that you take professional advice when drawing up your Will.

If you die without a Will, the law uses a standard formula to determine who inherits your estate, and this might not be what you would wish.

If you already have a Will, it is simple and quick to add an additional provision - called a Codicil - that can be to the benefit of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust.


Is there a difference between a gift in a Will and a legacy?

The easy answer is - no there's absolutely no difference at all! These are just different terms for the same thing. 

What are the different types of legacy that I can leave?



Providing for your loved ones is the most important thing to consider when writing a Will. However, once this has been arranged, you may wish to leave a legacy to support our work. One way of doing this is to include a residuary legacy to the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust – this is a percentage of your estate after everyone else has been provided for.

 

You could also consider the following types of gift:

  • A gift of a fixed sum of money. The value of pecuniary legacies will decrease over time, as the cost of living increases.
  • A particular named item left as a gift in your Will is known as a specific legacy, for example, a piece of jewellery.
  • Legacies made on the basis of another event happening first are called contingent gifts. For example your Will could state that a gift only applies if all other beneficiaries named in your Will die before you do.
  • A reversionary legacy is a gift which someone can benefit from in their lifetime. For instance, your house could be left for the use of a relative. When they die it could pass to someone else, or to a charity.

How should I word a residuary bequest? (a share of your estate)

I give (%) of the residue of my real and personal estate to the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Limited (Registered in England & Wales Charity Number No 1092723) of One Comberton Place, Kidderminster, DY10 1QR and the receipt of the Trustees of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust or other proper officer for the time being of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Limited shall be a complete discharge to my executors. 

How should I word a pecuniary bequest? (a set sum)

 



I give the sum of [...] pounds to the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Limited (Registered in England & Wales Charity Number No 1092723) of One Comberton Place, Kidderminster, DY10 1QR and the receipt of the Trustees of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust or other proper officer for the time being of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Limited shall be a complete discharge to my executors.

What are the financial benefits of leaving a gift in my Will?

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax on the estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who’s died. How much you pay depends on the value of your estate – which is valued based on your assets (cash in the bank, investments, property or business, vehicles, etc.), minus any debts. There’s normally no IHT to pay if the value of your estate is below the £325,000 threshold, or you leave everything above the £325,000 threshold to your spouse, civil partner, or a charity.

If neither of the above applies, your estate will usually be taxed at 40% on anything above the £325,000 threshold when you die, although there are other allowances and exemptions that may be available. Depending on your circumstances, if you give away your home to your children or grandchildren on your death however, your threshold can increase to up to £500,000 and, if you’re married or in a civil partnership and your estate is worth less than your threshold, any unused threshold can be added to your partner’s threshold when you die. This means their threshold can be as much as £1 million.

Leaving something to charity in your will may also save your beneficiaries money. When including a charity in your will, your donation is usually taken off the value of your estate before IHT is calculated, and can reduce your IHT rate (if 10% or more of your estate is left to charity in your will, IHT will be charged at 36% of the net value of your estate).

The SVR Charitable Trust strongly recommends taking legal advice on this subject if applicable to your circumstances or please visit the HMRC website.

To talk, in confidence, about any aspect of leaving a gift in your Will to the SVR Charitable Trust, please contact Sue Chance on 01562 757915 or email legacies@svrtrust.org.uk.