Leave a Legacy - Remember Secret World in your will
It is impossible to put a value on the joy we get from our natural surroundings. We have all experienced one of those magical moments when nature allows you to catch a glimpse of something truly beautiful and inspiring, whether a robin on your windowsill, or foxes playing in a field, or a majestic stag standing proud with his herd of deer.
When we have these brief connections it makes you realise just how wondrous our world really is – but also how fragile it is becoming! That is why Secret World is working hard to protect it – to save our wildlife, protect endangered species and conserve habitats. A gift to Secret World in your Will is the greatest gift a wildlife lover can give!
To do this we need your help!
A legacy will help us to continue our work rescuing wildlife, conserving habitats and protecting species. Secret World is a registered charity that receives no government funding, so every penny we receive really counts. No matter how small, leaving something to us in your will really does make a difference – it all adds up! In 2009, 22% of our income came from gifts left to us in supporters wills – their legacy for protecting our future!
Making a Will
There are a good many reasons to make a Will, not least the peace of mind gained from knowing that your possessions will be distributed as you wish. A Will can protect your loved ones. If you die without making one, then they could be subjected to additional worry at a time of great grief.
Without a Will, the assets in your estate ‘may’ be divided among any relatives according to a legal formula. Those you would like to benefit may not receive anything or, if you have no relatives, everything you have when you die will go to the state.
When should I make a Will?
We would recommend you do this as soon as possible to ensure your possessions will be distributed as you would have liked. If you have already made a Will, you must remember to review it regularly to ensure it still accurately reflects your wishes.
What’s the best way to make a Will?
We strongly recommend you consult a solicitor when drawing up a Will or making changes to it. Your Will is a legally binding document and may deal with complex difficult matters, for this reason it is essential to get professional help to ensure it reflects your wishes.
What is inheritance tax?
Secret World kindly received a legacy of just over £5,000 from long time supporter Mr. Alan Hoby. This amazing gift helped Secret World to purchase a new wildlife ambulance! This has been used primarily for the collection and release of wild animals, and for our education talks and school visits.
When you come to make or update your Will, many people find that including a gift to charity can help reduce the amount of inheritance tax their loved ones have to pay. This is because gifts to charity are exempt from inheritance tax. In some cases, a gift to Secret World could even ensure that no inheritance tax is payable at all.
You might assume that you have to be fairly wealthy in order for your estate to be liable for inheritance tax, but this is not the case. Sometimes just owning the family home is enough. Your solicitor will be able to give you advice based on your circumstances and in line with current legislation.
If the total value of your estate is over a certain amount (as of April 5th 2010 this stands at £325,000) then Inheritance tax may become payable, but any gift you make to a registered UK charity, such as Secret World, is exempt. In effect, this means that the tax payable on your estate is reduced.
Married couples and civil partners have a combined inheritance tax threshold of £700,000 for the 2010/11 financial period. This enables married couples and civil partners to combine their allowances, meaning that when the second partner dies, inheritance tax will not be charged on the first £700,000 of their estate, provided none of the allowance was used when the first partner died.
How do I find a solicitor?
You can look for solicitors in the yellow pages or search online, or even ask your friends and family whom they use.
How much does it cost to make a Will?
The price of drawing up a Will may vary – but it will usually cost around £90 for a single Will and about £100 for two ‘Mirror Wills’. The more you prepare in advance, the less work will need to be done by a solicitor, which will save you money. If you are aged over 70, disabled, or the parent of a disabled person who is to benefit in your Will, you may qualify for financial help – your local Citizens Advice Bureau should be able to explain more (see www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ for more information).
What information should I take to a solicitor?
You should make a list of assets, liabilities, people and charities you want to benefit, your executors and all their addresses. If you decide to leave a gift to charity you will need the full charity name, charity commission number and their address. The details for Secret World are listed below:
What type of gift can I choose to leave?
The main types of gift are a pecuniary gift (a specific amount of money), a residuary gift (a proportion of what remains after all your debts and liabilities have been settled), and a specific gift (a specific item such as jewellery, shares or property).
What wording should I use to include in my Will?
“I give the sum of £_____ (or specify a share of residue) to Secret World Wildlife Rescue of New Road, East Huntspill, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 3PZ (registered charity number) 1097119 for its general purposes and I declare that the receipt of the honorary treasurer or other officer of the said Secret World Wildlife Rescue for the time being shall be a full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.”
How will a Legacy help Secret World?
A buzzard found by Avon & Somerset Police out on the beat! Quick to come to the aid of not just humans but wildlife too, PC Christopher Adams of Avon & Somerset Police thought it odd when he found a grounded buzzard in Mina Road Park in Bristol. Having not moved for days he was certain all was not well and rang Secret World for backup.
This poorly buzzard was brought to Secret World in early March, where he was found to have a nasty mouth infection. He has now been treated and was successfully released at the beginning of spring.
Leaving a legacy to Secret World will help us alleviate suffering and continue our vital work in saving Britain’s wildlife. Without the kindness of those people who included us in their Wills we wouldn’t have been able to rescue 4,000 animals last year – wildlife like Snowflake, an abandoned otter who was washed out of a holt in the heavy rains.
By remembering Secret World in your Will, you can make a real difference to wildlife. That’s because legacies help us to fund many vital projects – from the new wildlife hospital we are building to our hands-on work rescuing injured and orphaned wildlife.
If you would like to know more, or would like to let us know if you have pledged a gift, please download a copy of our Legacy Booklet. The details of your gift will be kept confidential and is not legally binding; it just helps us to plan ahead with greater effect.
If you would like more information on legacies please continue to look through the legacy web pages or alternatively, if you would like to talk to someone about any of the above, or legacies in general please contact: Pauline Kidner on 01278 783250 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Gift in your Will means we can:
- Rescue, rehabilitate and release injured and orphaned wildlife – Secret World now help around 4,000 birds and animals a year
- Protect endangered species in the UK – through our harvest mice breeding release programme. We estimate we release about 100 each year
- Conserve natural habitats – incorporating part of a SSSI site, our nature trail and millennium wood offer a range of natural habitats ideal for mammals, amphibians, birds and insects
- Secret World run an education programme – teaching the general public, schools and groups about wildlife and inspiring the next generation to protect and conserve our native species and habitats
Animals give so much joy to us throughout our lives – leaving a legacy is a great way to give something back to them.
What type of gift should I include?
To make a Will or to add a legacy to an existing Will is straight forward and less expensive than you might think. There are several ways you can do this, you can choose to leave:
- A specific sum of money (called a pecuniary legacy)
- A valuable item such as a picture, antique vase, furniture or even a house (called a specific legacy)
- If you wish to make a gift to Secret World from what is left once all your loved ones have been provided for (residuary gift)
- A proportion, or all, of the remainder of your estate after pecuniary and specific legacies have been allowed for
- A proportion, or all, of your estate after the death of your spouse or some other person. This means that they are still able to enjoy your possessions (such as the family home) during their lifetime but, after your death, your estate can still go to charity
(NB if you wish to leave your share of any jointly-owned assets including property, you should consult your solicitor as special rules apply).
How do I change my Will?
Things in life change - you may get married, have children or even grandchildren whom you would like to include in your Will. If you have already made a Will and would like to amend it to include a gift to Secret World, you can ask your solicitor to add a codicil to your Will. A codicil is a written amendment to a person's Will, which must be dated, signed and witnessed just as a Will would be, and must make some reference to the Will it amends. A codicil can add to, subtract from or modify the terms of the original Will. When the person dies, both the original Will and the codicil are submitted for approval by the court (probate) and form the basis for administration of the estate and distribution of the belongings.
What will happen to your legacy?
You do not have to be rich for the gift you leave to Secret World in your Will to play a vital role in our efforts to help protect and support British wildlife. Nor do you need to leave us everything you own. You simply need to ask your solicitor to include a gift to Secret World once you have provided for your loved ones. And remember, every penny we receive we are hugely grateful for – without your support we would not be able to continue our work protecting and conserving British wildlife.
Your generosity will enable us to:
• A gift of £500 would pay for x-rays for 10 deer injured in road traffic accidents
• A gift of £1,000 would pay for the milk replacement for wildlife orphans over a 6-month period;
• A gift of £5,000 could fund wildlife education talks to 50 schools to inspire the next generation to protect and conserve our native habitats and species;
• A gift of £10,000 would pay for a 24-hour ambulance and keep it on the road for a 5-year period;
• A gift of £15,000 could fund a conservation programme to protect endangered species in the UK;
• A gift of £30,000 could help pay for essential capital expenditure, such as new animal enclosures
• A gift of £117,000 could help us to continue our work for another 3 months.
If after considering matters, you decide to leave a legacy to Secret World, please ensure that the following details are included in your Will to correctly identify the charity.
Let us know
Please let us know if you have decided to include Secret World in your Will by completing the downloadable legacy leaflet and pledge form. Knowing about your support will help us to plan ahead for the future and will enable us to thank you properly for your support. We would also like to keep you up to date with our work by sending you our quarterly newsletter.
A gift from you will help make a real difference to British wildlife – for many years to come. We value any legacy gift – whether small or large and you can rest assured your gift will be used to have the greatest impact for British wildlife.
All of us at Secret World would like to say a huge thank you for all of your support, it really is appreciated!
1 in 4 of the animals we care for is funded by a legacy
It costs nearly £500,000 a year to keep Secret World going and that money comes from donations. One way to donate is by leaving a gift in your Will. Legacies play an important role with most charities. People leaving money to charities close to their hearts can really boost funds. Few people are able to leave all their money to a charity, wonderful as that would be for the charity!! Most of us have dependants to think about, but leaving just a small gift in your Will to Secret World can make a big difference. Writing a Will, or keeping your existing Will up to date, may not be the most cheerful thing to put on your list of things to do, but it should take priority. It doesn't actually take that long and once it's done there's huge peace of mind and it can prevent much distress for your loved ones at an already difficult time.
A Will is all about leaving money and support to those you love and care for, so if you love wildlife, think of all the animals that would really benefit from you remembering Secret World Wildlife Rescue when you write or update your Will.
Stay wild and keep caring
Michaela Strachan - The Really Wild Show