Legacy promotion campaign
Making a Will is essential, and it is possible to leave some of the estate to one of the four Masonic charities.
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“Friends, Romans, Countrymen…”
In the famous Shakespearean quote,
Mark Anthony goes on to say:
“The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones”.
Despite being written over 400 years ago, it
seems that the meaning remains as true today.
Research shows that over 70% of the UK
population regularly give generous donations
to charity during their lifetime. Yet less than
15% include a charitable gift in their Will in
order to support the work of the same
charities after their death.
Income received via legacies provides
vital support for all UK charities. A high
profile Legacy Promotion Campaign,
launched in October 2002, aims to increase
the proportion of Wills that include a
donation to charity from 14% to 16%. If
successful it is estimated that this would
generate an extra £180 million per year for
the voluntary sector at large.
At a time when, in the UK, all charities
continue to look to maximise their income,
it is inevitable that increased effort will be
spent on trying to encourage individuals to
include a charitable donation.
You may well have already received a
variety of printed material from one or more
charities delivered through your door.
Much of this may have contained legalistic
jargon which has confused rather than
helped. It is hoped that the information
detailed below will provide enough
information to enable you to understand
how straightforward the process can be.
Making a Will is straightforward. It doesn’t
take long and need not be expensive.
Without a Will ‘the courts’ will decide what
happens to everything you own or have
worked for. The resulting decisions may not
be in keeping with your personal wishes,
and are likely to see a greater proportion
going to the Inland Revenue rather than to
family, friends and your favourite charities.
You do not need to be rich to need a Will.
If you allow yourself some time to take stock
of everything that you own, you are very
likely to be surprised by the result. The
Inland Revenue will require payment of
inheritance tax at 40% for everything over
a fixed amount (currently £255,000).
Gifts to Charity made by Will are exempt
from inheritance tax, thus avoiding a 40%
payment, as are gifts by a husband or wife to
his or her spouse. All other beneficiaries will
be liable for inheritance tax if the value of
your estate exceeds the tax threshold.
You do not need to be rich to leave a
charitable donation in your Will. Bequests of
all sizes are equally welcome. Over the last
three years, charitable bequests left to the four
Craft Charities have varied in size from £52
to £179,000. They have been received with
equal gratitude and have been faithfully applied
in support of those who are less fortunate.