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Legacies are highly valued by the Society, and all sums received are regarded as capital, adding to the Society's investments and increasing the income these generate for distribution each year. It is largely by receipt of legacies over many years that the Society has been able to establish the investment portfolio it now possesses. Many of the legacies we receive are from past-beneficiaries, gifting an element of their estate in appreciation of the help they have received from the Society during their lifetimes.
There is no limit on the amount which can be given tax-free to charities so that a transfer will be excluded from the total estate for the purpose of assessing inheritance tax. If more than 10% of an estate is bequeathed to charity, the rate of duty paid on the remaining estate is reduced from 40% to 36%.
What types of legacy can be made?
- A pecuniary legacy...a specific amount of money.
- A specific gift...a house, painting, jewellery
- A residuary legacy...a proportion of the residue of your estate after any specific bequests.
A will is a legal document and may not have the effect you desired if not properly drafted. It is important that you use a fully qualified solicitor to draft or change your will.
A Suggested Form of Legacy
Following the change of name of The Royal Society for the Relief of Indigent Gentlewomen of Scotland on 1 May 2015, legacies should be made in the following style:
"I bequeath the sum of ……………………. (insert the amount in writing) to The Royal Society for the Support of Women of Scotland, 14 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BD, free of Inheritance Tax, as soon as convenient after my death and that without interest from the date of death to the date of payment. I direct that a receipt of the Chief Executive of the said Society shall be sufficient discharge to my executors."