How to leave a legacy

A legacy, also known as a bequest, is simply a gift made in your Will to a person or organisation (such as a charity). There are several types of legacies that you can choose. For details see our free “Writing a Will” guide.

The subject of writing a Will can appear complex and confusing but it’s fairly simple, especially if you are working with a legal expert. Our guide gives you tips on how to prepare for discussing your Will with a solicitor, as well as explaining the Will-writing process.

Suggested Wording for your Will

Once you have decided which Catholic organisations you would like to leave a gift in your Will to, you will need to provide your Solicitor or Will maker with a few of their details: Their name, Registered address and their Charity Number. Your Solicitor or Will maker will then include different wording dependent on the type of gift you are leaving:

1. A share of your estate: I give X% of the residue of my real and personal estate to Charity Name and Number of Charity address and the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer or the proper officer for the time being of Charity name shall be a complete discharge to my executors.
2. A set sum: I give the sum of X pounds (£… in figures) to Charity Name and Number of Charity address and the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of Charity name shall be a complete discharge to my executors.
3. A specific legacy gift: I give to, Charity Name and Number of Charity address my name and description of item.

For gifts to a Diocese or a Parish
You can choose to leave a gift to either, but in both cases the gift has to be to the Trustees of the Diocesan Trust. This is because the Diocese is a registered charity and so can benefit from fact that legacies for charitable purposes are exempt from inheritance tax. (The Bishop is the senior Trustee of the Diocesan Trust.) But if you wish your parish to benefit, you can ask your Solicitor to use the particular wording which would enable this.
For example, this is how a gift to either Wrexham Diocese or a parish in the Diocese would be worded:
“I give [THE SUM OF £ – / MY RESIDUARY ESTATE] To Wrexham Diocesan Trustees Registered to be applied as to both capital and income for the general charitable purposes of Wrexham Diocesan Trust (Charity Number 700426) and I request without imposing any binding trust or legal obligation that the same shall be used for such purposes [within Name & Place of Parish or : St. Mary’s Cathedral Wrexham, or At the discretion of the Bishop] and I direct that the receipt of one of the trustees of Wrexham Diocesan Trustees registered shall be sufficient discharge to my executors.”

Gifts to a special project
If you wish your legacy gift to support a particular project, it is best not to include this restriction in the wording of your Will, in case the project is no longer relevant when the time comes. An inappropriate restriction could mean your gift is invalid. It would be better to mention specific projects in a separate “Letter of expression of wishes” to your Executor.

Gifts to Your Catholic Legacy
Your Catholic Legacy cannot receive a legacy.
Please do not leave a gift in your Will to the Your Catholic Legacy group.
Your Catholic Legacy is a group of Catholic causes working together to promote gifts in Wills to individual Catholic causes. We are not a registered charity and cannot receive charitable legacies.

Share Your Saint

Share Your Saint

YCL Magazine

Download the 2018 YCL Magazine