Leaving a gift in your Will is a lasting way of saying thank you for the care and treatment you or a loved one have received, or simply because you want to make a difference to patients, their families and hospital staff in the future.

Use a solicitor

When writing your Will, we recommend you use a solicitor to make sure your wishes are clear and understandable.

Before meeting with your solicitor, it is worth thinking about the following:

  • The rough value of any assets you own – house, shares, savings.
  • Any outstanding debts you may have.
  • What kinds of gifts you want to leave to people close to you, and any charities you may wish to include.
  • Who you would like to be the executors of your Will – the people who will carry out the instructions within your will.

Once your will has been written and you are happy that it reflects your wishes, it needs to be signed by you and two witnesses. A witness must not be a direct family member (this includes your spouse/civil partner) or a beneficiary in your will. Your solicitor may be able to arrange suitable witnesses on your behalf.

Types of gift

Gifts can be large or small – you do not have to be wealthy to be able to make a difference to patient care in our hospitals. We are so grateful for every gift we receive.

These are the types of gifts you can choose to leave in your will:

– Residuary gift – once you have provided for your family and friends, you may wish to leave a percentage of your estate to our hospitals.

– Pecuniary gift – you may wish to specify a fixed sum of money to leave to our hospitals, which can be ‘index-linked’ so the value is maintained in line with inflation.

– Specific gift – a valuable item such as artwork, a ring or a house.

Inheritance tax

Currently, inheritance tax is payable at 40% on estates of over £325,000. Leaving a legacy can be tax-effective as gifts to charities are exempt from inheritance tax. Additionally, those who leave 10% (or more) of their net estate to charity will qualify for a reduction in the rate of any inheritance tax payable from 40% to 36%.

We always recommend you seek individual advice from your financial or legal advisor, as everyone’s tax situation is different.

Updating your Will

You can add a gift to your existing will at any time, via a codicil. This is a legally valid addition to a will, used to make specific changes or amendments, whilst leaving the rest unchanged.

We recommend using a solicitor who can advise you or write a codicil on your behalf. The codicil needs to be signed and witnessed, then kept with (but not attached to) the original will.

Advising us of a gift you plan to leave to the hospital

It is helpful to the charity to be informed of any bequests left to the charity and any information passed will be treated with the up-most discretion and not details will not be passed to any other organisation.

Complete our online legacy pledge form here to advise us of your intention to leave a gift to the hospital.

Further information

If you would like any further information, or you wish to talk to someone about leaving a legacy, please contact Jan Witt, Legacy Officer on 01225 825819 or jan.witt@nhs.net

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