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Have you thought about your legacy?

For many people, it is important to them that upon their death, their estate is distributed to the family, close friends and charitable causes that they passionately support. Having a will can ensure your wishes are carried out.

If you’re considering leaving a legacy gift in your will to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, we’re here to guide you through how to write, or add to, your existing will.

In this section, we explain more about how to leave a gift to the Foundation in your will, the types of legacy gift you can leave and how this can significantly reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable against your estate.

Download your essential guide to leaving a legacy >>

Download our legacy leaflet >>

Occasionally somebody planning to write their will may also be thinking of making a power of attorney. If you are interested in setting up a power of attorney document, you may wish to read our Power of Attorney Factsheet.

Leaving a gift in your will

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.

 

Types of legacy gift

  • 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) ___% 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).

 

Considerations when writing your 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.

Please be aware that the law in Scotland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Isles operates differently. If this is relevant to you we can provide limited guidance but strongly recommend you consult a solicitor who specialises in this area.

Inheritance tax

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 changes from time to time so to make sure you know the most recent threshold, visit www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax

If the total value of your estate is above this threshold, the amount over the threshold could be subject to IHT. Married couples and civil partners can combine their tax allowances which allow the surviving spouse or civil partner to benefit from any unused portion of their spouses or partner’s allowance as well as their own. If you leave your main residence to your son, daughter or grandchildren, your IHT threshold will increase.

Find out more >>

Discounted will writing service

To make the process of leaving a will as easy as possible, we are collaborating with the Goodwill Partnership to offer a discounted home visit or over the phone will writing service.

You can be visited by a trained professional in the comfort of your own home on a date and time to suit you. Your instructions will be passed to a panel solicitor (a member of the Law Society) to write up your will, who can also provide additional legal advice together with storage of your signed will.

The discount price for a single will is £129.60 

Call 0844 669 6148 or book an appointment online

You don’t have to leave a gift in your will to the MCF to use our discounted service. But any gift you do leave will help to ensure that the MCF continues to have a positive and life-changing impact for many years to come.

Our promise

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.

Contact the legacy manager

If you’d like further information, have any questions about setting up a legacy, or want to order a guide, please contact our legacy manager, Duncan Washbrook, on legacy@mcf.org.uk  or 020 3146 3332.

You can also write to him at: 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ.

Thank you Harry Fenton

We’d like to thank Harry Fenton and his wife, Ruth, for the generous gift they left to the Masonic Charitable Foundation from their estate.

Harry and Ruth dedicated much of their lives to helping others, and touched the hearts of so many people with their kindness. Harry was a successful businessman, and this enabled him and his wife to support several charities. Throughout their 60-year marriage, they volunteered their time and raised money for many charities, not only those within the Jewish community, but also national UK charities.

Harry had a lifelong relationship with Freemasonry and attended Lodge into his early 90s. He was a Freemason for over 50 years and he built wonderful memories and lasting friendships. Harry’s daughter Sandra said:

“My brother, Ian, and I wanted to ensure the Charities that were so important in our parent’s lives benefited in their memory. It continues what they did when they were alive and we are sure it is what they would have wanted. Our donation is from the heart, for Mum and Dad’

We are very thankful to Harry and Ruth Fenton and their family for remembering the Masonic Charitable Foundation. His legacy is the first gift left directly to the Masonic Charitable Foundation. We promise to use Harry and Ruth’s special gift wisely to fund our charitable support and services.

Thank you Sheila Cox

When Freemason Jeffery Cox died, he left behind his wife, Sheila and their young daughter, Alyson.

After Jeffery’s death, Sheila was faced with financial hardship, but members of her husband’s Lodge and Masonic charity stepped in to offer support. Alyson was offered a place at the Masonic School for Girls and received funding to cover the costs of her school fees, uniforms and trips. When Shelia required medical treatment, she was provided with the care she needed.

Sadly Sheila Cox died in 2017, but she left a discretionary legacy gift from her estate. Alyson acted as executor of her mother’s estate and chose to leave her mother’s gift to the Masonic Charitable Foundation as a thank you to Freemasonry for all the support it provided to her mother and herself over the years.

Alyson says “I would like to thank the Freemasons and Masonic charities for the support and education I received, allowing me to become a strong and independent lady at a young age. St Botolph’s Lodge, the Masonic School for Girls, and the Masonic charities were a huge support at a difficult time for our family. That’s why my mother left a legacy gift in her Will, and as executor I chose the Masonic Charitable Foundation.  We were both proud to give something back and allow the MCF to help others today in the manner we were supported. Freemasonry has touched my life very directly for which I will be eternally grateful”.

Alyson would like to acknowledge the following for the support given to her family; W Bro Alan Berriman, Bro Frank Hoy, Bro Brian Pearcy, St Botolph’s Lodge, and the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

 

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