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Leaving a legacy to a charity or charities in a Will helps ensure the charity can continue their work.  Legacies can also help reduce inheritance tax liabilities.
 
There are different types of legacies and Lawson-West solicitors can advise on the best way for you to leave a legacy depending on your individual circumstances. 
 
Some of the more common types of legacies are:-
 

Residuary Bequest

 
When all expenses, including taxes, and specific legacies to family and/or friends have been settled, what is left is known as the residual estate.  A residuary bequest is where you leave all or part of the residual estate to charity.  A residuary bequest means that no matter how much your financial circumstances change, the proportion of your estate you wanted to go to charity will stay the same.
 

Specific Bequest

 
A specific bequest is where a specific item is left to a charity.  This could be an item such as jewellery which the charity would sell, possibly at auction, to raise funds or be property or tools that a charity would use.  It would be worth checking with the charity first to ensure they can use your specific bequest.
 

Pecuniary Bequest

 
A pecuniary bequest is where a fixed gift of money is included in your Will.  Depending on inflation, the value of this gift may fluctuate, so an amount that seemed generous at the time you made your Will may not seem so generous when the charity actually receives it.
 

Reversionary Bequest

 
If you name a person as a beneficiary in your Will and they pass on before inheriting their bequest, you can either make provision for their share to go to another person or to go to charity.  This is known as a reversionary bequest, although it is sometimes referred to as a contingent legacy.
 
It is possible to draft the legacy in such a way to allow for the legacy to be paid to merged charities or to the receiving charity if one charity has closed and transferred its assets to another.  It is also possible to leave the executors with the discretion to choose a charity in a similar line of work should the specific charity named in the Will no longer exist.  Lawson-West can advise on this.
 
If you would like to make a Will, please call 01858 445480 now or complete one of the on-line forms. You can make an appointment at any of our branches in Market Harborough, Wigston or at the Meridian Business Park.  We can also arrange a home or hospital visit if you are unable to attend any of our offices due to your ill health, for a small additional fee.