We asked Leah Woodnott from our corporate supporter Birkett Long to answer some FAQs below. You can also refer to the government guidance on inheritance tax for further information.
Legacy Giving FAQ
What information do I need to include when adding Mercury to my will?
The most important information to include in your will is the Mercury name, address and registered charity number:
Charity name: Colchester Mercury Theatre
Address: Balkerne Gate, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PT
Registered Charity No: 232387
How can I change my existing will?
A solicitor can help you to add a form called a codicil to your existing will. Don’t be tempted to make changes yourself as it could render your existing will invalid if this isn’t done correctly.
I don’t have a will, how do I get one?
Making a will is easy and not as expensive as you may think! We always recommend having your will written by a solicitor with expertise in wills and probate. This is the best way to ensure that your will accurately reflects your wishes and the correct formalities are followed. The Law Society has a useful search tool that can help you find a trusted solicitor locally.
What types of gift in wills are there?
The most common gifts people leave are for a specific cash amount (pecuniary gift) or a percentage share of an estate (residuary gift). Some people choose other gifts, like specific items or property, or gifts in trust. A solicitor will be able to advise you on which type of gift is most appropriate to your wishes and personal situation.
How does this affect inheritance tax?
Any gift you leave to Mercury will be deducted from your estate before any tax liability is calculated. So, if your estate is £10,000 over the amount allowed as tax-free, and you leave the Mercury £2,000, then inheritance tax will only be payable on £8,000. Also, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to a charity, you’ll be taxed at a lower rate (36% rather than 40%) on any part of your estate that qualifies for inheritance tax. The use of charitable gifts to minimise inheritance tax should be discussed with a suitably qualified lawyer to ensure your intentions play out.
Can I restrict my gift in my will to a specific activity?
Leaving an unrestricted gift in your will allows the Mercury to use your generous donation wherever it is needed most, however if you feel strongly about leaving it to a specific activity then please get in touch to discuss this. Any restriction will need to be clearly stipulated in the wording of your will.
For further assistance:
If you would like to learn more, or are ready to add Mercury to your will, Birkett Long has a dedicated team to help you plan for the future, and if you are thinking about leaving a gift for Mercury in your will, they will offer you a 20% discount on their normal fee. Contact Leah Woodnott directly on 01206 217609 or email@example.com. Find out more about services available on Birkett Long’s website.
Otherwise, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss your legacy with you.