Are you making the most of your Will Power?
Nobody likes to think of their death and making a will is one of those occasions when your focus on your death and what will happen afterwards suddenly comes into the forefront of your mind. Have you ever thought about making a legacy gift to the Parish of South Shoebury in your will? You can do so very easily, just read on......
For nearly 500 years the Church of England has encouraged people to make a Will. Making a Will and updating it regularly is the only way to make sure your wishes are carried out after your death, giving you peace of mind that you can continue to support the family, friends and causes you love.
Without a Will, your loved ones could face a lot of trouble, work and expense after your death. Without a Will, a court could decide how to distribute your goods and who should look after your children or dependents.
If we do genuinely see ourselves as God’s stewards, entrusted to use His gifts to us for the good of our family and our Church family, then in thanksgiving, we should also take Will writing seriously – setting God’s affairs in order and stewarding them wisely to the end of our time on earth and beyond.
Seeking Professional Advice
You are strongly advised to seek professional advice and to see a solicitor when making or revising your Will.
A standard Will costs around £100 + VAT and the Solicitor should outline the cost upfront before you visit them.
Here is some example wording which you could use in your will.
To leave a share of your estate
“I give XXXXX % of my residuary estate free of all taxes to the Parochial Church Council of the Parish of South Shoebury in the Diocese of Chelmsford for its general purposes, and I declare that the receipt of an officer of the Parochial Church Council shall be a sufficient discharge to my executors and trustees.”
To leave a fixed sum of money
“I give the sum of £ XXXX ( XXXX pounds only) free of all taxes to the Parochial Church Council of the Parish of South Shoebury in the Diocese of Chelmsford for its general purposes, and I declare that the receipt of an officer of the Parochial Church Council shall be a sufficient discharge to my executors and trustees.”
This is sample wording only and neither the Diocese of Chelmsford nor the Parochial Church Council of the Parish of South Shoebury accept any responsibility for the use of the wording. Any wording used in your Will should be approved by your Solicitor.
Q: What is Inheritance Tax?
Inheritance Tax is due only if your estate (including any assets held in trust and gifts made within seven years of death) is valued over the current Inheritance Tax threshold of £325,000 in 2015-16.
The tax is payable at 40 per cent on the amount over this threshold or 36 per cent if the estate qualifies for a reduced rate as a result of a larger charitable donation of at least 10% of your entire estate.
All charitable gifts (including gifts in wills to the Church of England) are exempt of inheritance tax. For more information visit HMRC
Q: Who is the proper receiving body of a gift to a parish church?
A: The proper receiving body in this instance is the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of the parish. PCCs are the governing bodies of parish churches and a PCC is a body corporate under the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956 (as amended).
Q: What do words such as bequest and residuary mean?
A: There can be a number of terms used when leaving gifts in wills which can cause confusion. To provide further clarification, please click here to view a list of terminology
Q: Do I need a charity number to leave a gift to my local church?
A: No. The Church of England is itself not a legal entity and has a complex structure However all 16,000 of its churches are excepted from registration with the Charity Commission. unless their Churches whose annual income exceeds £100,000. PCCs with an annual income
exceeding £100,000 will be registered with the Charity Commission and have individual Charity Numbers.
All Church of England Churches have charitable status even if they do not have a Registered Charity Number.
Q: Can I leave a gift in my Will to more than one Church?
A: Yes. You can leave a gift to different parish churches or different areas of the Church of England via the Church Legacy Service. Click here to visit Church Legacy Service
Q: For what purposes can I leave my gift?
A: A legacy gift can be left to the Church of England for any purpose or general purposes. Since needs change over the years, many parishes encourage legacy gifts to be left for the general purposes of the parish rather than a restricted purpose.
Q: What is a Codicil?
A: A Codicil can make amendments to an existing Will, by revoking and adding in new clauses. It is recommended that only two to three simple changes are made via Codicil before a new Will is considered instead. Your legal advisor will be able to advise on whether a new Will is best or whether a change to your existing Will can be dealt by way of a Codicil.
Q: How much does it cost to write a Will?
A: Many people worry about the expense of writing a Will but it’s a good investment in your family’s future. A simple Will can cost as little as £100 plus VAT and a mirror Will (for couples) can be written for around £160 plus VAT. Comparative costs can be obtained easily by phoning a few solicitors in the area.