Leaving instructions about what happens to your estate is surprisingly simple and can help your family and the causes that you care about in the future. Making a Will is about ensuring that anything you own – whether it’s a house, pension fund, a beloved pet or family heirloom – passes on to the people you care about.
Your Will tells everyone what should happen to your property after your death: if you do not have one, the law decides how your estate is dispersed. This might not be in line with your wishes.
A Will makes it easier for your family or friends to put your affairs in order, but without a Will that process can be time-consuming, stressful and expensive. The fact remains, however, that 54% of adults living in the UK have not written a Will. Many of us do not like talking about death and that is perhaps understandable. Writing a Will is therefore one of those things that we put off until tomorrow.
Where there is a Will
When we are young it is all too easy to ignore what may happen later in life, by which point we have accrued assets that often add up to more than we realise in property, pensions, investments and death-in-service benefits.
Simple steps to making a legacy
Writing a Will is especially vital if you have children or other family who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family. Making a single, simple Will is very straightforward and can take no more than an hour-long appointment with a solicitor or member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers.
Making a Will is not just about providing for the people we love. It is also a way of supporting organisations doing the work we care about. You can leave money to charities in your Will to carry on their valuable work.
You can include gifts within your Will to our Church to continue its mission and work in the community. Much of the charitable work of the Church would not be possible without legacy gifts – from celebrating Mass to food banks and night shelters, we rely on your generosity. You can find out more about leaving a gift in your Will here.
By including a gift in your Will to the church, you can pass on something wonderful for future generations.
Myths and Misconceptions
Busting the seven most common myths about making a Will.
- MYTH: Leaving money to charity is something that only rich do. FACT: Gifts in Wills are something anyone and everyone can do.
- MYTH: Leaving money to charity involves entire estates, which means my family will go without. FACT: Gifts in Wills can be a small and only considered after your loved ones are taken care of.
- MYTH: Even if I can leave a gift, it won’t make a difference. FACT: Every gift, no matter how large or small, will help make a difference in supporting our Catholic community.
- MYTH: Leaving money to charity is for people who don’t have anyone else to leave it to in their Will. FACT: Gifts in Wills are relevant to everyone. It is about leaving something to help future generations.
- MYTH: Leaving to charity is something you agree at the end of your life. FACT: Gifts in Wills can be arranged any time you write or update your Will.
- MYTH: Leaving money to charity is only for certain charities. FACT: Gifts in Wills can be left to any charitable organisation, including the Church. More information is available here on how to leave money to the Church.
- MYTH: Writing a Will or including a charity in your Will is an expensive and complicated process. FACT: Writing a Will is straightforward and inexpensive with the help of a good solicitor.