Everything You Need to Know About Leaving a Gift in Your Will.

We’ve put together some frequently asked questions about writing or amending a Will and leaving a gift to Cure Parkinson’s:

What Basic Information Do I Need to Include?

The most important bits of information to include are our name, address and registered charity details:

Cure Parkinson’s is the operating name of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, 120 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6XX.

The Cure Parkinson’s Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1111816) and Scotland (SCO44368) and a company limited by guarantee – company number 05539974 (England and Wales).

What Types of Wills Are There?

There are a number of different types of legacies to choose from, but the two most common are known as Residuary Gifts and Pecuniary Gifts.

It’s important that you choose the type of legacy that works best for you and your circumstances, please do take advice on this if you are unsure.

A Specific Legacy

This is simply a gift of a specific item. This could include jewellery an heirloom, or shares.

A ‘Pecuniary’ Gift

This is a gift of a fixed amount of money, at whatever amount you choose. If you choose this type of gift, it’s worth considering linking it to inflation. Without this it could mean the true value of this gift could become less than you intended.

A ‘Residuary’ Gift 

This is a gift of some, or all of what is left of your estate after all other payments have been paid. For example, you could choose to leave 30% of your estate to Cure Parkinson’s, once all taxes and other payments have been made.

Do I Need to Tell You That I Have Left Cure Parkinson’s a Gift in My Will?

This choice is entirely yours – but we would love to hear from you. If you tell us about your gift, we will be able to give you the choice of how you would like us to communicate with you in the future, about our work and how it is made possible by gifts like yours.

To tell us about your gift, please email or call Leanne Richards

E: leanne@cureparkinsons.org.uk

T: 0207 487 3892

What Wording Should I Use?

We recommend that you speak to a solicitor who will advise you and help with the wording of your gift.

You will need to give your solicitor our registered address and charity numbers and they will do the rest.

The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, 120 Cavendish Street, London, W1W 6XX

A registered charity in England & Wales (1111816) and Scotland (SCO44368)

If you prefer, you can take the following wording to your solicitor. They will make sure your will is valid and that your wishes are followed.

Pecuniary Gift

‘I Leave _____ to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust of 120 New Cavendish Street, London, W1W 6XX. A registered charity in England & Wales (1111816) and Scotland (SCO44368).

Residuary Gift

“Subject to the payment of my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, I leave the whole (residuary) or ______% of my estate not otherwise disposed of by this my Will to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust of 120 New Cavendish Street, London, W1W 6XX. A registered charity in England & Wales (1111816) and Scotland (SCO44368).

Can I Change My Existing Will to Leave a Gift to Cure Parkinson’s?

If you have already arranged your Will and simply wish to add a gift to Cure Parkinson’s your solicitor can help you to complete a codicil form and store it with your Will. This form will be read alongside your Will and allows you to make changes to your Will, without having to rewrite it.

If you make the changes yourself it could result in your existing Will being invalid.

Can I Write My Own Will?

You can, but this could lead to a situation that could affect how much inheritance tax has to be paid or result in ambiguity that cannot be resolved without legal advice. A solicitor or professional advisers will help to ensure that these and other possible issues are avoided.

Are There Tax Advantages of Leaving a Gift in My Will to a Charity?

Yes, gifts to charities are tax efficient. If your estate is going to attract inheritance tax, any gift you leave to Cure Parkinson’s  will be deducted from your estate before any tax liability is calculated. So, if your estate is £20,000 over the amount allowed as tax-free, and you leave Cure Parkinson’s £2,000, then inheritance tax will only be payable on £18,000.

There are other advantages too, as outlined below. This is not advice, we strongly recommend that you talk to a qualified solicitor before making any decisions about your Will.

By leaving at least 10% of the ‘net value’* of your estate to charity, you can cut the Inheritance Tax (IHT) rate of your estate from 40% to 36%.

Please speak to your solicitor who will be able to provide you with advice specific to your circumstances. Currently the threshold for IHT is £325,000 for individuals. Married couples and members of civil partnerships can transfer any unused allowance to a spouse or partner so that they can leave up to £650,000*** before death duties are due.

*The net value of an estate is the total value of all the assets after deducting: debts and liabilities; reliefs; exemptions, e.g. anything left to a husband, wife or civil partner; anything below the Inheritance Tax threshold of £325,000 (known as the ‘nil rate band’)

**If you are the beneficiary of an estate that has not taken advantage of the full amount available as 10% charitable gift and the tax advantages this can confer, then it may be possible to vary the terms of the Will in order to do so. The precise impact this will have on the amount of any tax paid depends on the circumstances and you should seek professional advice on both this and what needs to be done to make a variation to a Will.

***The £650,000 may increase to £1m if your estate qualifies for a ‘main residence allowance’. You can read more about this here.

Can You Explain ‘Will After Death’?

Yes, this law lets a person’s will be changed after their death, as long as any beneficiaries left worse off by the changes agree. One reason for doing this is to reduce the amount of Inheritance or capital gains tax that needs to be paid.

Giles, a long time supporter of Cure Parkinson’s, was left a legacy gift in the will of his grandfather’s cousin. Giles discovered that a variation to the will in favour of one or more charities could reduce the inheritance tax on his grandfather’s cousin’s estate. Here Giles explains how donating some of his inheritance to Cure Parkinson’s reduced his own inheritance tax bill and provided much needed funding for Parkinson’s research:

“As the other beneficiaries were already giving to charities, I suggested we tried to benefit more charities by amending the will. Either we pay 40% tax on the taxable element or give 10% to charity and pay 36% on the rest. This doesn’t sound very much but £1,000 less 40% = £600 while £900 less 36% = £576. So every £100 going to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust only then cost us £24. This is a tax refund of 76%. Losing 2.4% from each taxable £1,000, did not then seem very much.

We did have some challenges; primarily we all had to agree and then we all wanted to donate to different charities, so we gave it all to Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and sorted it out afterwards. For us, this turned out to be quite straight-forward but please look at the government ‘will after death’ website and do seek some legal advice. Oh, and don’t wait too long – you only have a two year window to make the changes and forms need to be to agreed on and signed!”

Can I Ask That My Gift Is Used for a Specific Purpose?

Yes, you can. However, if you would like to take this approach please do talk to us, so that we are able to guide you further. If your gift is ‘restricted’ to a specific purpose, we must use the funds exactly as  you wish. This may present a challenge, if we are no longer funding research that matches how you would like your money spent.

If this happens we have to work with Charity Commission to reach agreement on using your gift in a way that matches your wishes as closely as possible.

You can ensure this does not happen by making your wishes ‘non-binding’ for example:

“it is my wish but without creating a legally binding obligation that…”.

Cure Parkinson’s will aim to comply with your wishes but in the event of being unable to do so, we can use the gift as closely as possible to you wishes meaning your gift can be put to more immediate use.

Does Where I Live in the UK Affect My Will?

Yes – The rules that apply to Wills can be different depending on where you live. We recommend that you work with your solicitor or professional Will advisor to ensure your Will includes the right wording.

Download Your Free Gifts in Wills Guide

If you’re thinking of leaving a gift to Cure Parkinson’s in your Will, thank you so much. Our guide should help ensure writing or amending your will is as easy as possible.

Talk to Us About Leaving a Gift

If you’re thinking about leaving a gift to Cure Parkinson’s, or you’ve already left us a gift and have any questions, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Leanne on 020 7487 3892.

Email Leanne