We would always recommend that you speak to a solicitor when making or amending your Will.
Once your loved ones are taken care of, if you wish to make a charitable gift to the MCF, a legacy gift of any value will make a huge difference to us.
When you leave a legacy gift in your Will it is not binding in any way and you can change your mind at any point. If you already have a written Will but are considering making an amendment or addition, you may well be able to do so by writing a codicil rather than re-writing a new Will.
- A pecuniary gift is a gift of a fixed amount of money.
If you are considering making a pecuniary gift to the MCF, we would suggest the following wording in your Will:
‘I give to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, Registered Charity Number 1164703, of 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ, (hereinafter called the MCF) the sum of £……. and I direct that (i) the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of the MCF and (ii) a receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by the Trustees of the MCF shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my Executor’.
- A residual gift is a gift of all or part of your net estate.
If you are considering making a residual gift to the MCF, we would suggest the following wording in your will:
‘I give to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, Registered Charity Number 1164703, of 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ, (hereinafter called the MCF) the residue, or a …….% share of the residue of my net estate absolutely and I direct that (i) the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of the MCF and (ii) a receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by the Trustees of the MCF shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my Executor’.
- A specific gift is a gift that need not be in the form of money. It enables you to leave specific assets such as property, stocks and shares or other valuables if you so wish.
- A reversionary gift (otherwise known as a Will Trust) is in effect a postponed gift. By making a reversionary legacy, this gift allows you to leave your estate, or part of it, in trust for the benefit of a particular person during their lifetime. They benefit from using the assets, or receiving the income from them, during their life. On their death, the assets pass to other chosen beneficiaries (called reversionary beneficiaries) such as the MCF.
- A contingent gift depends upon the occurrence of an event which may or may not happen. An example is a bequest to a charity which applies only if other beneficiaries named in the Will die before the testator (the person who made the Will).
When writing your Will, simple wording errors can cause confusion and delay in carrying out your wishes. The MCF always strongly advises that legal guidance from a solicitor is sought before writing or amending a Will.
In order to work out what you wish to leave, you first need to understand what assets you have to leave as your estate. Make a list of all your assets such as property, cash, investments, vehicles and any other valuable possessions. You will also need to consider any of your potential liabilities such as any outstanding mortgage or loans.
You may choose anyone, any organisation, or any charity you wish to benefit from your Will. These people or charities will become your beneficiaries. If you have any dependants you should be aware that the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 requires that, wherever possible, you should leave your dependants sufficient funds.
An executor is the person or persons responsible for handling your estate and making sure that your wishes are carried out after your death. An executor’s duties include ensuring that all debts, bills, funeral expenses and taxes are paid from your estate, and that all your beneficiaries receive what you intended them to inherit. Therefore it is important to choose your executor or executors carefully. You can choose a friend or family member (even if they are a beneficiary) but many people prefer a professional executor such as a solicitor. You can even choose a selection of both personal and professional executors.
Once your Will is properly signed and witnessed, it is a legal document. It is important to store your Will safely and inform your executor where it can be located. If your Will was prepared by a solicitor, it is usual for them to store the original whilst supplying you with a copy.
Finally, life moves on and significant events come and go. It’s vital to review your Will occasionally to ensure it is still an accurate reflection of your wishes. For instance, if you move house or get married, divorced, have children, or someone mentioned in your Will dies. Speak to a solicitor about the simplest way to revise your Will quickly and cost effectively.
By remembering the Masonic Charitable Foundation in your Will you may be able to reduce the taxable value of your assets and lower the amount of inheritance tax due on your estate.
The Inheritance Tax (IHT) threshold does change from time to time but is currently set at £325,000. If the total value of your estate is above this threshold, it could be subject to IHT.
Married couples and civil partners can combine their tax allowances. This allows the surviving spouse or civil partner to benefit from any unused portion of their spouses or partner’s allowance. From 2017/18, if you leave your main residence to your son, daughter, or grandchildren, your IHT threshold increases to £425,000.
As the MCF is a registered charity, a gift to us in your Will would be exempt from IHT. The gift will be deducted from your estate before IHT is calculated, and so reduce the amount of IHT payable. A solicitor will be able to give more detailed advice and guidance on efficient tax planning.
There is further incentive if you can leave the MCF 10 percent or more of your taxable estate as the IHT rate charged against your estate will be reduced from 40 to 36 percent.
For further information please go to https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax
Thank you for considering leaving the Masonic Charitable Foundation a legacy gift in your Will. We promise to use your special gift wisely to fund our charitable support and services.
We know that before considering your Masonic family, you must put your loved ones first. We promise to use any gift, large or small, to help people experiencing poverty and disadvantage, sickness and disability or barriers to education.
If you’d like to advise us that you will be leaving a legacy gift to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, we promise to stay in touch with you, sharing stories and news from the people we’ve helped as well as sending you our publications and annual review.
We understand that you may not wish to tell us you will be leaving a legacy gift and we respect your privacy. We can offer you as much or as little support as you require and we promise to always give you the space to make this important decision in your own time.
If you’d like further information or have any questions about setting up a legacy, please contact our legacy manager, Duncan Washbrook, on email@example.com or 020 3146 3333.
You can also write to him at: 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ.