Charitable legacies and inheritance tax
Inheritance Tax is paid if a person’s estate (their property, money and possessions) is worth more than £325,000 when they die. This is called the ‘Inheritance Tax threshold’.
The rules on inheritance tax and the exemptions that apply can be complicated. Further details are on the HM Revenue & Customs website:
The good news is that all gifts in Wills to Alzheimer Scotland are free of inheritance tax.
Types of charitable legacies in Wills
Once you have considered the needs of your family and friends, there are different types of legacies you can leave Alzheimer Scotland in your Will. Your solicitor will help you with the wording of your legacy.
A residuary legacy is a proportion of what remains of your estate (the residue) after your executor has paid all other bequests, debts and costs.
You can decide how much you want to give to others first, then specify how the residue should be split up.
Alzheimer Scotland could benefit from up to 100% of the residue of your estate or less, depending on how many other charities you wish to support.
Note that, if you choose a large number of different charities to benefit, the administration costs to your estate accrued by the executor – usually a solicitor - may be significant. So, you may want to think about choosing the good causes closest to your heart to support,
Residuary legacies will stay in line with inflation as they represent a percentage of an estate, rather than a fixed amount that will depreciate over time.
A pecuniary legacy is a fixed, specific sum of money. This amount will depreciate in value over time..
It is a good idea to review your Will every few years or after any major life changes such as getting married or divorced or a beneficiary passing away before you. This can also give you a chance to think about increasing the amount of any pecuniary legacy to charity.
Legacies of any amount make a difference to our work - £15 helps us provide an information pack for a carer; £100 funds a researcher in our Dementia Research Centre to carry out specialised memory tests for early detection of dementia; £500 would allow one of our Dementia Cafes to hold a special Christmas party for people affected by dementia. Any legacy you leave will make a difference.
This type of legacy involves you leaving a particular item – usually something valuable such as a piece of furniture, artwork jewellery, or even a property.
Alzheimer Scotland is then able to decide whether to keep and use the item or to sell it and use the proceeds to benefit our cause.
Alzheimer Scotland as an alternative beneficiary
As part of planning your Will, you should also think about what you would want to happen if a beneficiary should die before you.
For more information
- Phone our Fundraising Team on 0131 243 1453, email [email protected] or write to Alzheimer Scotland, 160 Dundee Street, Edinburgh, EH11 1DQ
- Alternatively, read or download our Legacy Pack to find out more and see what differences your gift will make. Thank you.
Legacy Pack Contents
- Your legacy - find out why your gift is needed.
- Planning your Will - this leaflet will help you prepare for meeting your solicitor to talk about making or changing your Will.
- Notification form - help us plan ahead with confidence by giving us notice of your intention to leave us a gift in your Will.
- An executor's guide - a brief guide to the roles and responsibilities of an executor. Includes a glossary of legal terms.