Fundraising is vital to our work supporting homeless people, and a gift in a person’s will makes a huge difference to St Martins. Many of our supporters don’t realise what impact a legacy gift could make. To raise some much needed awareness, we’ve joined forces with Remember A Charity, the largest consortium of its kind in the UK working to promote legacy giving. The annual Remember a Charity Week runs from September 9 – 15 and gives us a perfect opportunity to promote legacies to our supporters, staff and the general public.
The campaign also targets legal advisors and other professionals who write wills. Our collective aim is for all professional advisors to prompt their clients to consider leaving a charitable gift in their will.
Common myths about legacy giving
MYTH 1: YOU ONLY NEED TO WRITE A WILL WHEN YOU’RE OLDER
It’s always a good idea to have a will, especially if you are a home owner. Having a will means you get to say how your property is shared out, so you know your loved ones will be provided for the way you want them to be.
MYTH 2: ONLY WEALTHY PEOPLE LEAVE GIFTS IN WILLS
Anyone can leave a gift to charity in their will, and all gifts, large or small, make a very big difference to the charities that receive them. For example, St Martins received a gift of £1,000
MYTH 3: WILLS CAN BE AMENDED BY HAND AT ANY TIME
It’s easy to make small alterations to your will, like adding in a gift to charity. You need a legal document called a codicil. This is a short document which has to be signed and witnessed. Your solicitor or will-writing advisor can help you with this.
MYTH 4: WRITING A WILL IS AN ARDUOUS, EXPENSIVE TASK
Writing a will is a really straightforward process and it doesn’t cost as much as you might think. During Free Wills Month, every March and October, you can get your will written for free. At other times, will writing costs around £200.
MYTH 5: LEAVING A GIFT IN A WILL CAN BE COMPLICATED
It’s really easy to leave a gift to charity in your will, after you have provided for your loved ones. You can choose to leave either a small proportion of your estate, a fixed sum of money or even a specific item. You can update your existing will using a codicil, or otherwise include the instruction when writing a new will. Your solicitor or will-writing advisor will help you with this.
All gifts to charity, however small, are greatly appreciated.