Q. Why do I need to make a will?
A. making a will is the only way you can ensure that you can provide for your loved ones after your death in the way you wish. Even if you think you do not have much to leave you may be surprised at how great your assets are and you will save your loved ones from any additional worry at a very difficult time for them.
Q. I already have a will, so why should I change it?
A. It is a good idea to review your will every few years. Circumstances change, a marriage, a birth, a retirement can mean you have different needs to consider. Or you may simply change your mind about who you want to give to. Small changes can be made by making a codicil.
Q. How do I go about making or changing my will?
A. The first step is to talk to a solicitor or other professional will writer who can help you draw up your will or change your existing will with a codicil. This is a short, amending document for making changes to an existing will. A codicil still needs to be signed and witnessed by two people just like your will, these must be over 18 years and cannot be family members. Once completed, the codicil must be kept in a safe place together with your will but not attached to it.
Q. How will a gift to Operation Smile affect the tax position?
A. Inheritance tax is paid on an estate at 40% on the amount over the inheritance tax limit. Gifts between husband and wife are exempt from tax as are gifts to charity. A legacy to a charity can effectively reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable.
Q. Who should I appoint as executor of my will?
A. You can appoint whoever you like to act as your executor provided they are over 18. You should ask their permission first as it can take a lot of time. You can also appoint a solicitor or other professional but you should remember that they will charge for their services.
Q. Can you help me find a solicitor?
A. We cannot advise you who to use to write your will but we recommend that you go to a solicitor. The Law Society can tell you the name of a solicitor in your area or you may want to ask friends to recommend someone they have used.
Q. Do I have to tell you if I leave a legacy to Operation Smile?
A. No, you do not have to tell us but we would be very pleased if you did. Not only would this allow us to plan ahead but it would give us the opportunity to thank you and to discuss with you how you want to hear from us as a supporter of Operation Smile.
Q. Do you have a legacy booklet?
A. Yes our legacy booklet, Leave a Smile is available. Please contact anyone on the team for a copy or call 020 3475 5126.