Whereas one might reasonably assume that a legacy gift is just a legacy gift, there are in fact a number of different ways in which one can leave money to a charitable institution such as St Mary’s. It is important that you safeguard those closest to you, ensure that your bequests maintain their value and that they go where you wish.
Free of Inheritance Tax
Remember, every bequest made to a charitable body is free of inheritance tax, and this can be a telling factor when planning your estate for after your death.
The following is by no means a definitive list, merely the most regularly utilised, and we would always recommend that you take professional legal advice before making or changing a Will.
A Pecuniary Legacy
This involves the leaving of a specific amount of money. The disadvantage of this method is that inflation will erode its value over time and so can distort your original intention. In order to obviate this you could set aside a proportion of your Estate through a Residuary Legacy.
A Residuary Legacy
The way to protect the real value of your gift is to make what is known as a Residuary Legacy - which may be a percentage or fraction of the residue of your Estate after any specific bequests have been made. We would ask you to consider bequeathing one or two percent of your Estate.
Gifts in Kind
Your gift can take any form, and it is quite possible to leave gifts in the form of shares or items of property such as houses, pictures or other valuables. The University could then sell the asset and utilise the proceeds. This can be an attractive option where the asset has appreciated in value over the years and a high Capital Gains Tax liability exists.
A Conditional Legacy
If you feel that you would quite like to leave all or part of your Estate to St.Mary's, yet also feel that someone else has a stronger claim to the gift, then you can make a Conditional Legacy. This means that you leave your bequest to a particular person, but in the event that he or she should predecease you, then that bequest would go to the University.
A Reversionary Legacy (A Life Interest)
St Mary’s fully appreciates the concern all of us have for those we leave behind, and our wish to ensure that first and foremost proper provision is made for those close to us. In this case, what is known as a Reversionary Legacy can be used, whereby you leave money or your Estate (or a percentage thereof) to the University after the death of your spouse or relative. This means that they enjoy your assets during their lifetime, but afterwards everything, or a designated portion, reverts to the University.