Why you should make a Will
When you die your affairs must be ‘wound up’. There are likely to be outstanding bills and funeral expenses to be met from your estate – that is to say, all the property owned by you at your death. Making a Will simplifies all this.
A Will is the only way to ensure that whatever you leave is distributed to people, organisations or charities, in accordance with your wishes and with the minimum delay.
Without a Will, the fate of your assets after the payment of outstanding liablilities is defined by law. Part passses to your surviving spouse and the remainder to your children. If you have no children then a share of your estate passes to your parents (if they are alive) or other relatives – friends cannot benefit – nor can charities or organisations. Don’t forget that your estate includes your house. Unless your partner jointly owns this with you, he or she will not automatically inherit it on your death, and could even be forced to move.
Furthermore, your relatives may on your death spend some time searching for a Will if they canot be sure you did not make one. This could delay the winding up of your estate quite considerably and cause distress at an already stressful time.
When you should make a Will
As soon as you are of age and have possessions which you may dispose of you should make a Will. To put it off may lead to difficulties for your family later.
You may well need to alter your Will as your circumstances change, but this can be done very simply with legal help by adding a ‘codicil’. You must make a new Will if you get married, as marriage automatically revokes any existing Wills. Similarly, if you get divorced you should think about making a new Will. For someone who is married or has a family it is absolutely vital that a Will is made. Both husband and wife should make separate Wills.
How to make a Will
Most important of all, see a Solicitor or alternatively we can help. While it is possible for you to “do it yourself” using a Will form, this is not recommended.
Your intentions may be very simple, but the legal formalities and language required are complicated and need to be strictly followed. Scots law gives the spouse and children certain rights to a deceased person’s estate, and these have to be considered when a Will is made.
Just a minor difference in wording could make a major difference so far as the law is concerned.
Leaving a Legacy to Third Way
Bequests to organisations can be made in just the same way as gifts to individuals. They can take the form of specific gifts of money or possessions.
Alternatively, you can leave the residue, or part of it, to us.
If you would like to help Third Way in this way, please ask whoever is advising you to use the words set out below. They will ensure that your wishes are followed as you intend.
I do not have a will
If you have not already made a will, we would recommend that you contact a solicitor to help you through this process. You may be entitled to free will writing services if you are disabled or over 70 years old. We can also help with writing a will. Please contact your solicitor or email our Legacy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write to us: The Treasurer, Room 407,12 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1DD.
I already have a will
If you have already made a Will, leaving a legacy to the Third Way is even simpler. You can add a ‘Codicil Form’ to your will in order to make the necessary amendment. Just E-mail us for a copy of the form.
If you have already left a legacy in your will to the Third Way please let us know by emailing email@example.com or writing to The Treasurer, Room 407, 12 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1DD.
Below you will see three different types of legacy which should include in any will you make. Additionally, we recommend including the paragraph at the end of this page as well, as it will make sure your final wishes are fully met.
1. Residuary legacy
What does it mean? This is a gift of the remainder or percentage of your estate after all other legacies have been made and debts cleared.
Residuary legacies are an effective way to divide the value of an estate between a number of people and causes that are important to you.
Suggested wording: “I GIVE the whole of my estate or X per cent of the residue of my estate after payment of my funeral and testamentary expenses and debts and all legacies given by this my will or any codicil hereto and all inheritance tax payable upon or by reason of my demise to my [Executor(s)/Trustees] UPON TRUST for the Third Way of Room 407, 12 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1DD.”
2. Pecuniary legacy
What does it mean? A gift of a fixed sum of money.
Suggested wording: “I GIVE to the Third Way of Room 407, 12 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1DD, the sum of XX pounds [sum in words] £XX [sum in figures] free of Inheritance Tax for its general purposes and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being shall be sufficient discharge to my [Executor(s)/Trustees].”
3. Specific legacy
What does it mean? A particular named item left as a gift in your Will is known as a specific legacy, for example, a piece of jewellery.
Suggested wording: “I GIVE to the Third Way of Room 407, 12 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1DD, for its general purposes free of Inheritance Tax and other fiscal impositions and costs of transfer my [description of the item] for its general purposes absolutely and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being shall be sufficient discharge to my [Executor(s)/Trustees].”
Recommended Additional Paragraph
If you decide to remember the Third Way in your will we also recommend taking the following paragraph to your solicitor. It is important that the following clause is included in your will, whichever type you choose:
“If at my death any charity or organisation named as a beneficiary in this Will or any Codicil hereto has changed its name, amalgamated with or transferred its assets to another body, or changed its address, then my executors shall give effect to any gift made to such charity or organisation as if it had been made (in the first case) to the body in its changed name or (in the second place) to the body which results from such amalgamation or to which such transfer has been made or (in the third case) to the organisation based at their new address.”
Why a legacy is so important to Third Way
The promise of a legacy gives us a good idea of money which will be available for our work in the future. It is a very special way of giving; many people cannot afford large sums in their lifetime but can make a significant and far-reaching contribution through their Will.