Frequently asked questions on gifts in Wills Do you have questions about leaving a gift in your Will to Thames Valley Air Ambulance? Take a look at our frequently asked questions below. 1 Why do I need a will You may have a house or flat (in the UK or overseas), shares, savings, investments as well as your personal and digital possessions. All of these assets are your 'estate'. Making a Will ensures that when you die your estate is shared according to your wishes. Did you know if you live with a partner but are not married or a civil partnership and have not made a Will, then your assets go to your closest living blood relative? This could mean your loved ones miss out and most of your estate could go to the taxman. So, although life is busy, we recommend that you make the time to write a Will. 2 How does charitable gifts in wills impact inheritance tax? Inheritance tax is based on the value of a person’s estate upon their death. The ‘Nil Rate Band’ or ‘Inheritance Tax threshold’ is the value of the estate that is exempt from Inheritance Tax. You can decrease the amount of Inheritance Tax by 4% if you choose to leave 10% or more of your estate to charity. For further information about inheritance tax please visit www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax. For all tax advice we would strongly suggest that you get in touch with your Solicitor. 3 What type of gifts can I leave to a charity in my will? We receive all kinds of gifts in people’s Wills, and we’re grateful for all types of support. Most people who leave us a gift in their Will tend to leave either a share of their estate or a cash gift. The different ways in which you can support us in your Will include: Residuary gift: this is a percentage or share of the balance of your estate that will come to us once all other payments and gifts have been made. Many people prefer to give a residuary gift because it keeps in line with inflation and doesn't lose value over time. Pecuniary gift: this is a fixed sum of money that you leave to us. Specific gift: this can be a gift of property, shares, jewellery or other items you may wish to leave to us. Gift in Trust: this is when you leave a gift to someone for their use over a certain period of time and when this has ended, your gift will be passed on to us. 4 What is the key information I need to include a gift in my will to you? If you decide you would like to include a gift to Thames Valley Air Ambulance in your Will, your Solicitor will need our charity name, registered charity number and address, as well as the details of the gift type and amount that you would like to give. Here is the key charity information that you will require: Charity Name: Thames Valley Air Ambulance Registered Charity Address: Stokenchurch House, Oxford Road, Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire, HP14 3SX Registered Charity Number: 1084910 5 How can I change my existing will? Your Solicitor can help you to add a form called a codicil to your existing Will. A codicil will allow you to add and amend instructions to your Will without having to revoke your existing Will. We do not recommend making changes yourself as it could render your existing Will invalid if this isn’t done correctly. 6 I don't have a will, what do I do next? Many people choose to use a Solicitor for professional and legal advice regarding their estate, they can also advise you on inheritance tax and make sure your final wishes are met. If you need a Solicitor, you can search for one via the Law Society, the Yellow Pages, a public library or your local Citizens Advice Bureau. In England and Wales, please contact the Law Society for details of a firm near you. In Scotland, please contact the Law Society of Scotland. Before you visit your Solicitor it is important to decide who will inherit what and when. Making your wishes clear makes it easier for your loved ones to deal with your affairs after your death. If you have young children you should appoint a guardian of your choice, if you have not made a Will and you are the only parent, the court will appoint a guardian, also unmarried couples should appoint each other as guardians. 7 Do you have any recommended solicitors? We have partnered with the Goodwill Partnership who will provide a trusted affordable Will writing service in the comfort of your own home. They only use Solicitors who are members of the England Law Society. To arrange an appointment please call 0844 669 6418 or visit The Goodwill Partnership website to make an appointment online. There is no obligation to leave us a gift in your Will when using this service, but we hope you will be inspired to support our work in this special way. 8 How will Thames Valley Air Ambulance use gifts in wills? Gifts in Wills account for 10% of all Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s vital services. To understand how our supporters’ generous gifts are used, please read our annual report. 9 My question hasn't been answered, how can I get in touch to find out more? You can get in touch with our Legacy Fundraising Manager to discuss your query in confidence by calling our office on 0300 999 0135, or emailing [email protected] or you can complete our contact form and we will get in touch with you.