Guide to making your Will.
How to make or update your Will, and leave a Legacy to your party.
Legacy Fund ❱ Guide to making your Will
It's simple and easy to leave a gift to the Liberal Democrats and it will benefit both your local party, as well as the national party. Your Will is entirely personal to you and it should fit in with your own personal situation.
A gift in your Will to the Liberal Democrats will be tax efficient, as gifts to a recognised political party are deducted from your estate before inheritance tax is calculated.
Confused about some of the terminology? We've made a glossary to help understand words specific to making Wills.
What kind of gifts can I leave to the party?
A percentage of your estate (Residuary gift)
This type of gift is a percentage of your estate after debts. This has the advantage of automatically keeping up with inflation.
A specific amount of cash (Pecuniary gift)
You can also choose to leave a specific sum of money as a gift which can be as big or as small as you like.
These gifts tend to be a valuable item like a property, a piece of jewellery or stocks and shares.
This gift has the advantage of ensuring that your family and friends are cared for in the first instance. The gift would only be received by the Liberal Democrats once the original beneficiaries have passed away.
A solicitor or financial advisor will be able to advise you on which is the most appropriate to meet your personal wishes.
I have a Will.
How do I add a gift to the party?
There are two simple ways to add a Legacy gift; you can write a new, amended Will with the help of a solicitor, or you can make a Codicil.
Amend your Will
It's often best to make a new Will by amending your existing one. To do this you need to speak to a solicitor.
If you already have your old Will, you can use our Will Planner to collate all the information to take to your solicitor. This can save you money as you won't need so much of your solicitor's time.
Make a Codicil
If you have already made your Will but would like to add a Legacy to the party, please do so using our Codicil form without needing to make a new Will.
In order to ensure it ties in properly with your Will, we would recommend that you should consult with your solicitor. The completed Codicil should be kept with your Will.
I don't have a Will.
Where do I start?
Find a solicitor
If you are creating a Will for the first time, it's important to seek professional advice.
Once you've found a solicitor that you would like to use, you will make an appointment to speak to them about all the gifts you would like to bequest, as well as any other wishes.
You can use our Will Planner to collate all the information to take to your solicitor. This can save you money as you won't need so much of your solicitor's time.
Farewill is a digital Will-writing company specialising in Legacy Giving. If you haven't written a Will before, it's a cost-effective way of getting started.
All Liberal Democrat members received a 50% discount on any Will created with Farewill. So you can create your own, legally-binding, Will for only £45.
If you already know what Legacy gifts you would like to bequest, it can take as little as ten minutes.
How do I find a solicitor?
You can find a solicitor through the Law Society for the country that you live in:
Tel: 0870 606 2555
Tel: 0131 226 7411
No telephone enquiries
Tel: 01534 601 700
Tel: 01624 662 910
Alternatively, if you would prefer to speak to a lawyer who is a Lib Dem member, we can put you in touch with The Liberal Democrats Lawyers Association, Rights Liberties Justice.
To find out more please contact Calum Roscow, Legacy Manager on 0207 227 1919.
I have already left a gift to the party in my Will.
Is there anything I have to do?
Thank you very much! Did you know you are eligible to join The Legacy Society? It's free to join and open to anyone who has left a gift to the party in their will - no matter how big or small. We want to make sure all our members and supporters are valued. Your Will is a private matter, so we never ask how much your gift is for. Of course, you don't have to tell us at all if you don't want to.
Is it possible to leave a gift in my Will for a specific campaign or region?
We can never predict when the next by-election will be, or which region will need the most campaign support, so your legacy gift will have the biggest impact if it is made unconditionally.
We always make 10% of unconditional gifts available to your local party.
But if you would like to talk to us about funding a specific region or project, please contact Calum Roscow, Legacy Manager on 0207 227 1919.
Glossary of Terms
Administrator – A person appointed by law to finalise your affairs if you die without leaving a Will.
Assets – Total resources in your estate e.g. value of property and bank accounts.
Beneficiary – A person or charity who benefits from a gift in your Will.
Bequest/Legacy – A gift in your Will.
Codicil – A document to amend an existing Will.
Estate – Total sum of all your possessions.
Executor - The person appointed to carry out the wishes of your Will. Executors can be beneficiaries.
Inheritance Tax – The tax on your estate if worth over a certain amount - £325,000 (April 2015). Inheritance tax is set at 40% (April 2015) A gift in your will to the Lib Dems will be tax efficient, as gifts to a recognised political party are deducted from your estate before inheritance tax is calculated.
Intestacy – Dying without having left a Will.
Liabilities – Debts against the estate e.g. mortgage payments.
Pecuniary Legacy – This is a fixed sum of money that can be large or small and given as a gift to a beneficiary.
Probate - Certificate issued by a court that the will of a deceased is legally valid, and that the executors appointed under the will are authorized to administer the estate, once given the assets of a deceased can then be properly distributed.
Residuary Legacy – This is a percentage of your estate once outgoings have been dealt with (it can be as small as 1% or as large as 100%) and is given after all taxes, costs and other gifts.
Residue - The sum left from an estate when all debts, charges and gifts are deducted.
Reversionary Legacy – A gift in a Will that reverts to another beneficiary when the original beneficiary dies.
Specific Legacy – A gift of a particular item in your Will.
Testator (male) or testatrix (female) – The person who is making the Will.
Trust – A provision you can put in your Will to treat part of your assets in a particular way after your death.
Will – A document in which a person specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of their estate after death.
Witness – A witness to your signature on your Will. A witness cannot be a beneficiary.