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Legacy FAQs



Why do I need a will?
By making a will, you can ensure that your possessions are passed on to the people and charities that you have chosen. If you do not have a will, the state will decide how your property should be distributed.

How do I make a will?
We suggest that you choose a solicitor to write your will. If you don't know any solicitors, we recommend you call the Law Society on 0870 606 2555 or visit www.solicitors-online.com

What can I say in a will?
When you make a will you can say how you would like your financial affairs to be dealt with after your death. But wills are not just about money. For example, you can also use your will to say what kind of funeral you want, or arrange for the care of pets. If you have legal responsibility for a grandchild or child you can name guardians for them.

How much does it cost to make a will?
Solicitors’ fees for will writing vary from firm to firm and also according to the complexity of the will. As a rough guide it could cost around £100 plus VAT for a straightforward single will and £160 plus VAT for a straightforward double will. Comparative costs can be obtained easily by phoning a few solicitors in your area.

What are the different types of legacy?
There are several different kinds of gift you can leave in your will. The most common are:
Residuary bequest: A gift of the remainder of the estate after all other bequests have been made and debts cleared is called a residuary bequest. You may wish to leave either all or part of your residuary to charity.
Pecuniary bequest: A gift of a fixed sum of money in your will is called a pecuniary bequest. The value of pecuniary legacies will decrease over time, as the cost of living increases. You may wish to consult a solicitor about protecting the value of this gift by linking it to the Retail Price Index.
Specific bequest: A particular named item left as a gift in your will is known as a specific bequest - for example, property, shares, paintings or piece of jewellery. If items are bequested to Birmingham Royal Ballet, they are sold so that their proceeds can be utilised.

Will I have to pay inheritence tax?
Taxation rules change frequently. Your solicitor can provide will tax-planning advice or arrange for the services of an accountant or tax adviser. A will can allow you to take tax into account and maximise how much you leave to others. For example there is currently no inheritance tax payable on a gift left to charity in your will.

Why should I keep my will up to date?
Once a will has been made, it is important to keep it up to date and account for any changes in your circumstances. For example, you may now have had a child or grandchild, you may have moved home, or your financial situation may have changed. It is also advisable to reconsider the contents of your will regularly to make sure that it still reflects your wishes. <>

How do I amend my will?
A codicil is an addition to a will that states any changes you wish to make, and is easily made by a solicitor. Adding a codicil to your existing will may be a simple way for you to leave a legacy to Birmingham Royal Ballet. Download further information about adding a codicil here. However, if you are making significant changes, it is advisable to make a new will. The new will should start with a clause stating that it revokes all previous wills and codicils. You should contact your solicitor if this is the case.

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We would be very happy to discuss the full range of work that requires support, and answer any questions you may have about our work or making a will. We can suggest suitable wording to ensure we can carry out your wishes accordingly.

Please e-mail Geoff Sweeney or telephone him on 0121 245 3500 to talk or to arrange to meet; you are welcome to visit our offices and studios and see our work behind the scenes, or we can arrange to visit you in your home.

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