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Gift In Your Will

More than a third of Mayhew’s work is funded by gifts left in Wills, also known as legacies or bequests.

This money is vital to the future of our organisation and our proactive work against animal cruelty and neglect.

Many people find the whole subject of gifts in Wills confusing. We hope the frequently asked questions below will assist you.

Guide to Making a Will

Why make a Will?

Making a Will is the only way to make sure that your family and friends and the causes close to your heart receive what you think and hope that they should receive from your estate.

Although parts of your estate may go to your family if you have not made a Will, these may not be the family members you expect, or in the amount you would wish.

Your family may also end up paying Inheritance Tax, which is currently charged at 40%.

Can I make a Will myself?

Homemade Wills, including the ‘over-the-counter’ templates available in many shops, can lead to very expensive problems that sometimes cannot be rectified. Important details can be left out, or the will could be invalid or lead to unexpected tax bills.

Dealing with these issues may demand professional advice and can cause a lot of distress for those involved. We would therefore always recommend obtaining the advice of a solicitor.

What will it cost?

This will depend upon how complex your affairs and your wishes are, but may not be as expensive as you think. You can always request estimates from solicitors at no commitment.

In England and Wales contact the Law Society for details of a firm near you on 020 7242 1222 or in Scotland contact the Law Society of Scotland on 0131 226 7411.

How do I leave a gift in my will?

Including Mayhew in a Will is a straightforward, easy and cost-effective way to support our work. It simply involves adding a short paragraph (clause) to your Will. We would always suggest that you use a qualified solicitor to assist you with this.

If you have any specific questions please contact legacies@mayhewanimalhome.org or Mayhew on 020 8206 5870.

I would like to leave a gift to Mayhew in my Will - what information do I need to include?

You will need to include our name, address and registered charity number:

The Mayhew Animal Home, Trenmar Gardens, Kensal Green, London, NW10 6BJ.

Registered charity number: 1077588.

How do I add Mayhew into an existing Will?

You can make minor alterations to your Will without the necessity of drafting a new Will by using a document called a codicil. A codicil confirms a previous Will document but makes a few changes. If a small number of changes are required it is a simpler alternative to re-writing the entire Will. By using a codicil any of the details in a Will can be changed. Gifts can be revoked and new gifts can be added.

We have created a Mayhew Codicil form for you to use if you wish to leave a gift to Mayhew in your Will.

A few things to note about codicils:

A codicil refers to a previous Will document. It details some changes to the Will but confirms the things that it does not change.

• The codicil identifies the Will it amends by referring to the date on which the original Will was written.

• A codicil must be signed in the same manner as the original Will with the same number of witnesses – two in England and Wales, typically one in Scotland.

• A codicil should be kept with but not attached to the original Will it changes. This ensures the codicil is not overlooked.

Do I have enough to leave a legacy?

It’s a common misconception that a legacy has to be an enormous sum of money. This is not the case. Any gift left in a Will, no matter how large or how small, is important to the charities you support.

What is the difference between a pecuniary and a residuary legacy?

The two main types of legacies that people leave are: residuary and pecuniary.

A residuary legacy is when a person leaves a percentage of their estate to a charity. This means that, however much your estate is ultimately worth, you ensure your loved ones are looked after as well as giving a gift to your chosen charity. It also means you don’t have to keep altering your Will as your circumstances change.

A pecuniary legacy is a set sum of money. However, we advise that you consult your solicitor on what is best for your particular circumstances.

If you would like to calculate what you think you may have left to leave please visit the Remember A Charity website to use their calculate your gift tool.

What about inheritance tax?

Any gift you leave to The Mayhew is tax free and may have the added advantage of bringing the total value of your estate beneath the inheritance tax threshold.

Each individual’s tax situation is different and we always recommend you consult a solicitor for full details of tax benefits. Visit HM Revenue and Customs for more information on inheritance tax.

What if my circumstances change?

One of the great things about a legacy is that it allows you to take account of any changes that may happen to your personal circumstances. With a properly worded legacy, you can be safe in the knowledge that, should your circumstances change, your Will automatically takes account of this. So you are able to look after yourself, friends and family while also knowing that you will still be doing something for your favourite charity if there is any money left over after you die.

I live abroad, what do I need to consider?

If you own anything abroad we would always suggest that you obtain specialist advice from a solicitor.

I'm an executor and there's a gift to The Mayhew in the Will. How should I pay the money to you?

Please send a cheque payable to The Mayhew Animal Home to:

The Mayhew Animal Home, Trenmar Gardens, Kensal Green, London, NW10 6BJ

If you have any other questions, please contact legacies@mayhewanimalhome.org on 020 8206 5870, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.