1 Your guide to leaving a gift in your Will Shafiqul Alam Kiron/Sightsavers
2 Peter Caton/Sightsavers
3 Your lasting legacy to Sightsavers It is estimated that the number of blind people in the world will increase to around 76 million by 2020, if action is not taken. With 90% of blindness occurring in developing countries Sightsavers work has never been more important. For 60 years we have been working tirelessly in some of the world s poorest countries to combat blindness and support blind adults and children. Gifts in Wills play a vital part in our funding each year and without them one fifth of our work would not be possible. A group of cataract patients prepare to go home following their surgery at a Sightsavers supported hospital in India. The surgery will not only transform their lives but also those who depend on them. Our vision is of a world where no-one is blind from avoidable causes and where visually impaired people participate equally in society. As a Sightsavers supporter we know you share that vision but what will happen when you re gone? By leaving a gift to Sightsavers in your Will you can help keep that vision alive and help us to build a brighter future for millions of people. It need not be much, but its impact will be seen for years to come.
4 Kate Holt/Sightsavers Your Will No one likes to think about making a Will and people have all sorts of reasons for not making one. They don t have time, they don t believe it s necessary and of course none of us plan on dying in the near future. Yet making a Will is probably one of the most important things you can do to ensure your wishes will be carried out. It is the only way to ensure you protect the rights of your children and loved ones, but despite this, one in five people die without making a Will. When no Will exists it can cause stress and upset to those you love at a time when they least need it. It is also possible that your loved ones will receive none of your estate. Making or updating your Will doesn t have to be hard work or expensive and the relief in knowing that you ve put your affairs in order will be a great feeling. The next few pages of this booklet will guide you through the steps you ll need to take. When making or changing your Will it is important to provide for those closest to you first your family and friends. But it is also a wonderful opportunity to remember the causes that are dear to you.
5 Women queue to receive antibiotics to combat trachoma infections at a mass treatment point in Kenya. Without Sightsavers help millions of people would not have received this medication.
6 Kate Holt/Sightsavers Your questions answered Why should I make a Will? Although it might at first seem a little daunting, your Will is the only way to ensure your money, assets and belongings are distributed according to your wishes. What happens if I don t? Tragically, 1 out of 5 people fail to write a Will. They assume that their money and property will automatically pass to their loved ones. In fact, if you don t have one, your entire estate could go to the State. This can cause great distress and hardship to those left behind. Abubakar Ibrahim from Nigeria receives a dose of Mectizan to prevent river blindness; around 20 million people are protected each year thanks to Sightsavers. When should I update my Will? Your Will should reflect major changes in your life such as marriage, bereavement, divorce or the birth of children or grandchildren.
7 How can I update my Will? If you wish to make major revisions to it, your solicitor may have to alter your Will. If the changes are relatively simple, such as the addition of a charitable bequest, you need only add a codicil, a legally binding document that details amendments to your Will. What is a legacy? A legacy is a gift of money, property or a valued possession that you leave to family, friends and the causes you hold dear. How can I leave a legacy to charity? If you are writing a new Will, you need only give your solicitor the charity s details: their exact name, address and charity number. If you would like to add a charitable bequest to an existing Will, simply complete a codicil such as the one printed inside the back page and present it to your solicitor. What types of legacies are there? A residual legacy is all, or a percentage of, the remainder of your estate once all other commitments (for instance, bequests to your family, outstanding taxes or nursing care costs) have been met. A pecuniary legacy is a gift for a specific sum of money. A specific legacy is the gift of a specific item of value such as property, jewellery or stocks and shares. Which types of legacies benefit charities most? By leaving a share of your estate (residual) rather than a fixed sum of money (pecuniary), you can protect your gift from losing value through inflation. Are there tax benefits? When you pass away, everything you leave above the tax threshold incurs an inheritance tax of 40%. The good news is that if you leave a legacy to charity, your gift will be tax-free. So every penny of your money goes to helping those who need it most. Can I leave a legacy to fund a specific project? Hopefully it will be a long time before we receive your legacy gift. In that time there s a chance we may have raised the funds to complete a specific project. In such cases, we are legally bound to forfeit your gift and cannot use it to fund other urgent projects. Therefore, it s far better for us when legacies are not left to specific projects but for one general charitable purpose.
8 Eight simple steps to leaving a gift in your Will Arrange to see your solicitor To ensure your Will is legally valid, we recommend you use a solicitor. If you don t have one, simply phone the Law Society on +44 (0) Assess your estate s value Your estate is everything you own your home, contents, shares and insurance minus any outstanding commitments you may have such as a mortgage. This should give you a clear idea of how much you would like to leave and to whom. Prepare the paperwork If you are writing your Will for the first time and decide to leave us a legacy, you will need to make a note of our exact details, i.e our full name, address and registered charity numbers. These are: Sightsavers (Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind), Grosvenor Hall, Bolnore Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 4BX, England. Registered charity numbers and SC If you are adding a bequest to Sightsavers in your existing Will, please complete the codicil document at the back of this guide. 4 Choose what kind of legacy you d like to leave Decide whether you d prefer to leave a residual, pecuniary or specific legacy. Please note that a residual legacy is the safest way to ensure your gift retains its value Return the enclosed pledge invitation Knowing your intentions enables us to plan for the future. It also allows us to say thank you within your lifetime. Choose your executor If you are writing a new Will, you will need to choose someone to be your executor. Their job is to carry out your wishes after your death. The task may be time consuming, so it s best to consult them first. It s also worth noting that for this reason most people name two executors. List any questions Our Legacy Officer Estelle Fiske is on hand to answer any queries
9 you might have in the strictest confidence. Telephone Visit your solicitor Your solicitor will discuss with you in detail the specifics of your Will. Once you are happy all you need to do is sign and date your new Will or codicil before two independent witnesses, who must also sign the document. Thank you. Your gift will change lives in some of the world s poorest countries. Tugela Ridley/Sightsavers Thirteen-year-old Sirus from Uganda has severe low vision; with Sightsavers support he has been able to attend a mainstream school alongside his sighted friends.
10 Your estate checklist Remember to take this simple checklist with you to your solicitor when making your Will. It ll help you answer all their questions. Property List your major assets and their approximate value: Home Holiday home Jewellery Car Home contents (e.g. furniture) Antiques Other items of value Financial Bank/Building society accounts Stocks, shares, investments etc. National savings Pension/Benefits Life assurance Business assets Any other financial interests Financial Commitments Mortgage outstanding Loans Overdraft Hire purchase agreements Credit card loans Other loans Money you are owed Name and address of debtor Name Address Postcode Date of loan Amount outstanding Names and addresses of executors Name Address Postcode Name Address Postcode
11 Your codicil for a bequest to Sightsavers To add a bequest to Sightsavers in your existing Will, simply fill out the form below. Make sure that you sign it before two witnesses, neither of whom stand to benefit from either your Will or from this codicil. Once completed, you may wish to forward this document to your solicitor for checking. It should then be kept in a safe place, together with your Will. Thank you for your kindness. Your gift of sight will be valued for many years to come. For you to complete By this first (or appropriate number) Codicil to my Will dated I (full name) Of (address) For your witnesses to complete Signed by the alongside in our joint presence and then by us in his/hers. 1st witness (Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms) Address In addition to the provisions of my said Will, give to Sightsavers (Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind) Grosvenor Hall, Bolnore Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 4BX. Registered charity numbers and SC the sum of: Residual legacy % Pecuniary legacy Specific legacy (item) for its general charitable purposes and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being or other duly authorised officer shall be a sufficient discharge to my executors/trustees. In all other respects I confirm my said Will. Signed* Date Occupation Signature 2nd witness (Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms) Address Occupation Signature Postcode Postcode Date Date *In front of witnesses. A percentage of your estate left after all specific gifts, debts, fees, taxes and other expenses have been paid.
12 Riccardo Gangale/Sightsavers For further information on leaving a legacy to Sightsavers please contact Estelle Fiske: Telephone: By Post: Sightsavers Grosvenor Hall Bolnore Road Haywards Heath West Sussex RH16 4BX Registered charity numbers and SC038110
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