Alzheimer's Research Trust

GJ Livanos House, Granhams Road Cambridge CB2 5LQ
Tel: (01223) 843899 Fax: (01223) 843325 e-mail:azt@btinternet.com

Legacies – Your Gift To Life

Why everyone should make a Will - Three good reasons:

Everyone who owns something should make a Will:

What happens if you do not make a Will?

To die ‘Intestate’ (without having made a Will), means that it is left to the law to distribute your estate. This may take some time to sort out. The relatives you intended should benefit from your estate may not in fact do so, or they may not benefit to the full extent you expected. In addition, the administration of the estate is likely to take longer and be more costly.

What do I have to leave?

There are so many things of value – some sentimental, and some of financial value. In either case, by spending a few minutes now looking at the following list, you can consider your assets and where the benefit should go.

Assets

House Value £
Car £
Bank / Building Society £
Stocks and Shares £
Unit Trusts £
National Savings / Bonds £
Insurance Policies £
Pensions £
Furniture £
Household effects; china, glass,
ornaments, pictures, cutlery, etc £
Jewellery £
Clothing £
Any other item £

Liabilities

Mortgage £
Bank Loan £
HP Agreements £
Credit Cards £
Taxes owed £
Other Debts £
Total £

What do you do next?

After valuing your estate, you need to decide how you would like your possessions to be divided to be distributed. In particular where there are young children, you might wish to appoint a guardian and if they are under the age of 18, consider setting up a Trust to look after their inheritance until they are old enough to do so themselves.

It is possible to write a Will yourself, but great care must be taken to ensure that wishes are clearly expressed and that the legal formalities are observed. Sadly, with the best of intentions home-made Wills often become invalid.

Consulting a solicitor is relatively cheap and not as time-consuming as preparing a Will at home. If you do not have a family solicitor, the Alzheimer’s Research Trust can provide a Will writing service locally, or you can find a list of solicitors in the Yellow Pages. You can expect to pay about £80 for a single Will and £100 for a pair of Wills (husband and wife)

Changing an existing Will

There are times in most peoples’ lives when it becomes necessary to change or add to a Will – marriage, separation, divorce, the birth of children or grandchildren, or a change in financial circumstances.

If you already have a Will and you want to make a small amendment or addition to it you can do so by means of a codicil. A codicil is a sort of short postscript which is added to your Will and is generally cheaper than preparing a new Will from scratch.

A gift to a registered charity during your lifetime can be made free of tax.

The first £234,000 of your estate is exempt from Inheritance Tax but the remainder will be taxed at 40%. A legacy to a spouse is free of Inheritance Tax, as is a gift to a registered charity

A legacy to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust can be made free from Inheritance Tax and could reduce the overall value of your estate before tax, thereby reducing your final tax bill. The larger the estate the greater the Inheritance Tax bill!

The type of Legacy you could leave:

If you should wish to include the Alzheimer’s Research Trust in your will there are various forms of legacy you could make and the following legal wordings should be adhered to:

Specific: This nominates a particular item of value to be bequeathed. It can include anything from property and jewellery, to stocks and shares and proceeds of Life Assurance policies.

Pecuniary: This is a specified amount determined at the time a will or codicil is made.

Recommended wording for the Pecuniary bequest: "I give to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, the sum of £…….(free of all taxes) for the purposes of scientific research and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or other authorised officer will be sufficient discharge to my executors"

Residuary: This is the remaining value of your estate after provision has been made for your family, friends, etc. It is probably the most valuable form of legacy for the Trust because of the difficulty in predicting the value of one’s estate in the future.

Recommended wording for the Residuary bequest: "I give the residue of my estate to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, G.J. Livanos House, Granhams Road, Gt Shelford, Cambs. CB2 5LQ, for the purposes of scientific research and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or other authorised officer will be sufficient discharge to my executors"

With over half a million sufferers, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common disease in the UK today. It devastates the sufferer and their loved ones. There is as yet no cure or effective treatment for the disease and although the incidence of Alzheimer’s will rise as our ageing population grows, woefully little is being spent on research into the disease.

Advances in medical science have meant a longer life expectancy for us all , but the quality of life associated with this longevity must be considered. At the moment the Alzheimer’s sufferer has little prospect of enjoying quality of life. 

Please help us, through your Will to bring hope to the hundreds of thousands of present and future sufferers of this heartbreaking disease.

If you should require any further advice or assistance please contact the Legacy Officer at azt@btinternet.com