Leave a gift in your will: frequently asked questions

Find answers below for frequently asked questions about leaving a gift in your will to Orbis UK.

Why do I need to leave a will?

Your will is one of the most important documents you need to write. It ensures that your loved ones are looked after when you are no longer around and that your final wishes are respected.

Once your family and friends have been included, your will is also a way for you to continue to support the causes closest to your heart. More and more people today are including a gift to charity in their will to continue to support the valuable work they do. Orbis UK depends on this type of gift as a vital way to help continue the work of eliminating avoidable blindness around the world.

What if I don’t have a will?

If you do not have a will or your will isn’t valid, your estate is said to be intestate which means that your wishes may not be carried out. Having a professionally written, up to date will is the best way to ensure your requests are met.

Who should help me write or update my will?

Orbis UK advises that you use a professional will writer or solicitor to write or update your will to ensure that it is valid and witnessed. We have partnered with Bequeathed, who provide a free online will writing service.

Visit www.bequeathed.org/orbis and follow the steps to create your will online for free. Detailed guidance will help you to consider everything you need to think about when making a will, and to identify any issues where expert legal advice could be valuable.

If I already have a will, do I need to update it?

It is always a good idea to review your will periodically to ensure that it still reflects your wishes, especially if your personal circumstances have changed.

Where do I store my will?

As your will is an important document it is essential that you keep it safe along with any other information such as your pension details and bank accounts.

What information will I need to get started?

Gather together details about you, your partner, children, legal guardians, executors and any other beneficiaries. Have information to hand on your assets and liabilities, together this will give an estimate of the value of your estate that you may like your will to address. And consider any wishes you may have for your funeral.

What are executors and how do I choose them?

Executors are people you appoint to ensure the wishes in your will are followed. It is recommended to name at least two people in case one person is unable to act for you. You may choose friends, family members or a solicitor.

What is a residuary gift?

This is a share of your total estate after other payments, debts, taxes and administrative expenses have been deducted. As a residuary gift is a percentage of your estate it will keep its value over time. Here is some suggested wording to leave a residuary gift in your will: I leave the share of (amount in percentage) of my estate to Orbis Charitable Trust registered charity number 1061352, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF

What is a pecuniary gift?

A pecuniary gift is a fixed amount of money that you leave in a will, otherwise known as a cash gift. Here is some suggested wording to leave a pecuniary gift in your will: I leave the sum of (amount in pounds) to Orbis Charitable Trust registered charity number 1061352, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF

What is a specific gift?

A specific gift is where you leave a particular item of value such as a personal possession, property or shares to Orbis UK.

What is inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax is the amount of money that you will need to pay from your estate if the total value is over a certain level. The amount may change in the future and there are exceptions and benefits available to married couples and civil partners. We would advise that you talk to a solicitor or professional financial advisor to understand how this affects your personal situation. For more information you can also visit the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk

How can I minimise my inheritance tax payments?

If you leave a gift in your will you may be able to reduce or even eliminate your inheritance tax liability. Gifts to charities are 100% tax free and are taken out of your estate before any tax is calculated. In addition, if you leave at least 10% of your net estate to charity after certain deductions your inheritance tax rate will be reduced from 40% to 36%. Please be aware that these conditions are subject to change, so if this sounds like something you might want to consider we recommend talking to a solicitor or professional financial advisor to take further advice.

If you would like to find out more, please request our free booklet on legacy giving, which describes how to make or update your will and how to leave a gift for Orbis.

Phone number: 020 7608 7260