Ready, Willing and Able

16 Aug 2017

When asked if there is a right time to write a will, I explain that people often make their wills at major life stages such as marriage, having children or buying a house, but there is no right or wrong time. However, I do think it is important to understand if you don’t leave a will, the law decides how your estate is passed on – and this may not be what you want.

Writing a will is your way to ensure your family and friends, and any charities you care about are provided for in the way you wish. People choose to leave gifts for all sorts of reasons.

Debbie chose to leave a Gift in her Will to Jewish Care to say thank you for the help both she and her mother Molly received when her mother was diagnosed with dementia and cared for at Leonard Sainer, a specialist centre for people living with dementia. Gratitude is often a strong motivational factor, but certainly not the only one. One thing they all have in common is the desire to make sure that Jewish Care is here caring for the community for future generations.

Jewish Care relies on Gifts in Wills for 25% of its voluntary income. In other words £1 in every £4 we raise comes from a legacy and every gift makes a huge difference.

I always recommend when first writing your will or amending an existing one that you consult a solicitor, to ensure your wishes are clearly expressed and to ensure that your will is validly executed.

It is always advisable to prepare as much information in advance as possible to take with you. Our Guide to Gifts in Wills and Legacies has a handy checklist to help you do this. This not only makes sure you have everything you need when you go to the solicitor but helps keep their costs down.

There are two main types of legacy gifts: a Residuary Gift where you leave a percentage of your estate to family, friends and/or charities, once all debts and taxes have been paid;

or a Pecuniary Gift which is where you leave gifts of fixed sums of money.

What many people don’t realise is there may also be tax benefits to leaving a gift to charity. Currently, gifts to charity are exempt from Inheritance Tax (IHT) so if your estate is likely to attract IHT then a gift to Jewish Care could result in the tax being reduced, especially if you leave 10% or more of your taxable estate to charity.

I would like to thank all those who have already shown their support in this wonderful way. The need for Jewish Care is continually growing and we appreciate you being part of our future so we can continue to help the people who need us.

If you would like more information on leaving a gift or to receive a copy of our Guide to Wills and Legacies call Alison on 020 8922 2833 or email