Legacy giving

Someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK every 20 minutes. By leaving a gift to DKMS in your Will, you can make a positive impact on generations to come, helping more people with blood cancer to have a second chance of life.

Why make a Will?

Whatever your age, an up-to-date, professionally written will is very important. Making a Will is the only way you can be sure that your wishes will be followed after you die. If you don’t make one, the law decides how your estate is passed on, which may not be in line with your wishes. Not only that, Inheritance Tax legislation means that if you don’t prepare properly, a substantial part of what you leave behind may go to the state.

Making a Will

You can leave a gift to DKMS by making a new Will or by changing an existing one, it is relatively straightforward. While you can do it yourself, it is probably best to consult a solicitor so that your Will is legally valid and your wishes can be met in full.

There are three different types of gift you can leave to DKMS...

Changing a Will

If you already have a Will written, it is very easy to amend it to give a gift to DKMS. As with writing a new Will, you should consult a solicitor. You can change an existing Will by adding what is called a ‘codicil’ to the Will. This is usually just a single sheet detailing simple changes to be made to an existing Will. In some cases you may need to change a Will to reflect your changing circumstances such as marriage, divorce or the birth of children or grandchildren. You can change a Will as often as you like.

 

• A Pecuniary Gift – This is a specific sum of money;

• A Residuary Gift – This is a percentage of what’s left of your estate after all your other gifts to family and friends are taken care of;

• A Specific Bequest – Leaving DKMS a specific item, for example an antique, stocks and shares or some property;

Discuss with your partner or your solicitor what the most appropriate option is for you and your circumstances. You must also choose at least one executor to sort out your affairs after your death. You can ask responsible friends or relatives, or a professional such as a solicitor or financial advisor. It is entirely up to you but do approach them while writing your Will; it is a big responsibility.

Other Issues

The Inheritance Tax threshold for 2015-16 is currently set at £325,000 and tax is payable on any amount over that. However, legacies to a charity such as DKMS are usually exempt from Inheritance Tax and can also reduce your tax liability by being deducted from the amount your estate is worth over the threshold before the tax is calculated. Your solicitor can give you guidance on the tax aspects of making a Will.

Updating a Will

Once written, a Will should be updated to reflect your changing circumstances, such as marriage, divorce or the birth of children or grandchildren. Your wishes may change over time and it is important that your Will reflects this.

How to Find a Solicitor

You can find a solicitor in your area to help you make a Will through the Law Society. They can be contacted at: (020) 7242 1222 or by visiting their website: www.lawsociety.org.uk

Q & A

I don’t have a lot to leave, can I still leave a gift to DKMS in my will?

We are extremely grateful for all the gifts we receive in wills. No matter how large or small, they all make a difference, your generosity will help us save the lives of people with blood cancer.

Why should I make a will?

A will is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death. If you die without a will, it not only causes your family the pain of dealing with your affairs, but also means someone else decides who gets your money and in what shares. This could mean someone who you would want to receive money from your estate gets nothing, or your favourite organisation, which you would have liked to support with a gift, is not remembered. Making a will legally states how you want your estate to be divided up and how these wishes will be carried out.

Isn’t it better for me to give to you now, rather than wait until I die?

We are grateful for all gifts to DKMS, no matter when they are received. Some people choose to help us throughout their lifetime and also with a gift in their will. Some people are unable to support us as much as they wish in their lifetime but leave DKMS a share of their assets to support us in the future.

Can I add DKMS to my existing will?

Yes you can. If you simply wish to add a gift to us you can do so by including a codicil with your will. A codicil is a form that lets you add an extra gift without having to update your will. You will need to consult a solicitor or legal professional about this to ensure the process is carried out correctly.

Can I change my mind?

Of course you can. Your will is your document and you can include, exclude, add or remove whoever you wish. If you change your mind or if your personal circumstances change, you are free to change your will as many times as you wish. You don’t need to let us know either; it is entirely your choice.

How do I find a solicitor?

The Law Society website has a useful search tool that can help you find a solicitor, as does their Scottish sister site, The Law Society for Scotland.

Should I tell you that DKMS is in my will?

Your will is a private document and it is completely up to you whether you wish to share the contents of it with anyone. If you do feel able to let us know you have written a gift in your will to us, we can thank you and also make sure we don’t ask you about this type of giving again. It is also helpful to see whether our messages about how important this type of giving is are making an impact.

For any questions and to find our more, please email us at: fundraising@dkms.org.uk