At Wessex Cancer Trust, we understand that the people you elect to remember in your Will is a very private affair. Whilst most people will choose to make sure that their family and friends are provided for first some will also consider leaving a charity legacy, a gift in their Will.

A charity legacy to Wessex Cancer Trust will help us to improve the lives of people battling cancer and offer support and care to their families. Like many charities we depend on legacies and would not exist without them.

For many people, leaving a gift to a charity in their Will is a natural extension of the support they have shown during their lifetime and can be seen as one of the easiest, and least painful, ways of making a significant gift to charity.

All charitable bequests are deducted from the value of the estate before inheritance tax is calculated so for some can in fact can have very little impact on what your family and friends receive.

There are two types of legacy bequest; pecuniary and residuary. A pecuniary bequest means that the amount or nature of the bequest is made clear in the will; a residuary bequest leaves a percentage of the estate to the charity after all other debts and bequests have been discharged.

In order to leave money to charity, a donor needs to make a will or amend an existing will. They should seek legal advice from a suitably qualified professional, e.g. a solicitor.

What are the benefits to the donor/their estate?

The financial benefit is that legacies are exempt from inheritance tax (which at the time of writing is 40%), so it may help reduce the amount of tax payable if the estate is over the exempt threshold. At the time of writing the inheritance tax threshold is £325,000 for an individual or £650,000 for married couples or civil partnerships.
The value of making a gift to charity in a will allows donors to leave a footprint in the future and to allow their money to make a significant difference to the world, even after they have gone.

What are the benefits to the Charity?

To the voluntary sector as a whole, the annual income created by legacies is £1.9 billion, which is 15% of all voluntary income received by British charities. Legacy fundraising is a very cost effective way for charities to raise funds and has the potential to create a huge income stream for the charity.

If you would like more information on Legacies or any other ways of donating, then please contact the Trust on 023 8067 2200 or email wct@wessexcancer.org