How to leave a legacy
A legacy, also known as a bequest, is a gift made in your Will to a person or organisation.
Writing a Will can seem complex and confusing but it’s fairly simple, especially if you are working with a legal expert. You can download our free “Writing a Will” guide for tips explaining the Will-writing process and how to prepare for discussing your Will with an adviser.
Different types of legacy gift
The most common legacy gifts are a share of an estate or a fixed sum of money. Some people also leave a specific item, such as a house or jewellery.
An advantage of leaving a share of your estate is that it will automatically increase or decrease in line with the total estate value, so you don’t need to worry about inflation or how much will be left after the expenses of old age.
Fixed gifts will not automatically fluctuate in line with your wealth on inflation, so it may be worth reviewing from time to time to check it still reflects your wishes. You can also index-link the amount so that it keeps in line with inflation.
Suggested Wording for your Will
Once you have decided to give a legacy gift to a Catholic charity, you will need to provide your Will-writer with a few of their details:
- Charity name
- Registered Charity Number
- Registered address
Your Will-writer will then include different wording depending on the type of gift you are leaving:
A share of your estate: I give [X%/fraction] of the residue of my real and personal estate to [Charity Name and Number of Charity] of [Charity address] and the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer or the proper officer shall be a complete discharge to my executors.
A fixed sum or a specific item: I give the sum of [£X/specific item] to [Charity Name and Number] of [Charity address] and the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer or other proper officer shall be a complete discharge to my executors.
Legacy gifts to a Catholic Diocese or parish
Remembering the Church in your Will is a wonderful way to express your thanks for the blessings of your faith, as well as serve your children and grandchildren and help the Church in the future.
You can choose to leave a gift to your parish or diocese, but in both cases the wording in your Will has to be to the Trustees of the Diocesan Trust (The Bishop is the senior Trustee of the Diocesan Trust). This is because the diocese is a registered charity and can benefit from charity tax exemptions. If you wish your parish to benefit, you can ask your Will-writer to use particular wording to enable this.
Gifts to a special project
If you wish your legacy gift to support a particular project, we recommend you don’t include the restriction in the wording of your Will, because a restriction could mean your gift fails if the project is no longer relevant when the time comes. Instead you can add a separate “Letter of wishes” for your executor, explaining what you wish the gift to be used for.
Gifts to Your Catholic Legacy
Please do not leave a gift in your Will to Your Catholic Legacy. Your Catholic Legacy is a group of Catholic causes working together to encourage gifts in Wills to individual Catholic causes. We are not a registered charity and cannot receive charitable legacies.