Making a Will
Why make a Will?
Remember the Vegan Society in your will and help to fund our vital work promoting veganism worldwide.
You wouldn't let just anyone spend your money, look after your children etc., or (it has been known) squabble over your possessions. Making a Will gives you control and peace of mind knowing that your family and friends are provided for and that you can financially support charities in a way you may have wanted to, but could not afford to during your life.
For charities like The Vegan Society, legacies offer security and enable us to continue our educational work for the benefit of people, animals and the environment.
There are also tax benefits from leaving a legacy to charity. If the net size of your estate is above £231,000 you will be liable for Inheritance Tax. Gifts made to charities are exempt from Inheritance Tax.
Can I make a Will myself?
Yes. Standard Will documents are for sale in stationers and there are books available such as the Which? Consumer Guide Wills and Probate (ISBN 0-85202-538-6). However, if you are not legally trained you may make a Will that is not valid and so create problems for your executors, and beneficiaries.
Who can do my Will for me?
As your Will is a legal document, a solicitor will be able to help you avoid the pitfalls of doing it yourself.
What is it going to cost?
The cost of making a Will is relatively cheap. Telephone several solicitors and ask their charges. Use the enclosed material to make the solicitor's job easier and therefore cheaper. Some solicitors participate in National Will Week preparing Wills for free.
Can I change my Will?
Yes, A Codicil (suggested format enclosed) is a legal document which can be used to change your Will and is particularly suited to minor alterations. For extensive changes a new Will is preferable. Again, legal advice is usually recommended.
When should I change my Will?
It is advisable to review your Will every few years, especially when your circumstances change. These can be marriage, divorce, children or simply a change of mind. NB. Marriage usually make a previously made Will null and void.
Who carries out my Will?
Executors. They are people you choose to make sure your wishes are carried out. They should be someone you trust. You can approach a solicitor or bank, but do compare their fees and charges for acting as an Executor and dealing with the administration of your estate. If you are leaving your estate to The Vegan Society, and have difficulty finding an executor, we may consider accepting responsibility. Please ask us.
What will Executors do?
Executors obtain the necessary authority to action your Will. They find out everything you own and owe, pay your debts and then they give out your legacies as written. The Executors you appoint can consult Solicitors to help with the administration which can also help to relieve the burden on your family and friends, in what can be a difficult and emotional time.
What other options do I have when leaving money to charity?
The Charities Aid Foundation operate a legacy account. You can decide which charities you want to benefit after your Will has been drawn up and you can change your choice of charity at any time, without incurring cost. For details contact CAF at Kings Hill, W Malling, Kent ME19 4TA. Tel. 01732 520026.
The documents contained in this Legacy Pack are devised to help you have an understanding of the law relating to Wills (as at 1.1.99). They are not intended to replace formal legal advice and The Vegan Society cannot be held responsible for the information contained herein. In case of any query you should consult a solicitor.