Legacy giving is established as a highly tax-efficient way of supporting a charity of choice and plays an increasingly important role in securing finances for the Foundation.
We realise that the future is uncertain and that making a will is a significant and personal undertaking. The welfare of those closest to you will naturally come first. However, we also know that many people’s experiences of Mill Hill, Belmont or Grimsdell had a positive and permanent effect on the remainder of their lives. They feel a debt of gratitude that – due to economic fluctuations – cannot always be repaid during their lifetime. That is where legacy giving comes in. Leaving a bequest in a will enables a donor to support the Schools in a way that may not have been practical or possible whilst they had other obligations to fulfil.
Leaving a legacy to the Foundation reduces Inheritance Tax on your estate. (Charitable legacies are paid before tax is deducted which should usually reduce the total amount of tax due from an estate.) It is also free of Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax. Moreover, following changes announced in the April 2011 budget, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity (and this can be spread across several different charities), you will now only pay 36% Inheritance Tax on the taxable remainder of your estate.
Traditionally, most legacies left to the Foundation are used to support our bursary schemes. Over time, we want to be able to offer 20 such places each year with all costs covered by the interest earnings of the permanent Bursary Endowment Fund that was established in 2010. Talking to members of the 1807 Society, we know that this focus on the future is important to those who have already pledged bequests to the Foundation. Their generosity allows talented pupils from less affluent backgrounds to enjoy the first-class education that would otherwise be denied them. Seeing these beneficiaries learn, prosper and – ultimately – contribute to society in turn is a living legacy to those who remember the Schools’ aims and ambitions in their wills.
Here are some of the ways you can use a bequest to help the Foundation:
- Residuary / Once family and loved ones have been provided for, the remainder or a defined proportion (e.g. a percentage) of an estate is bequeathed to a charity.
- Pecuniary / A specific sum of money is bequeathed to a charity.
- Reversionary / An estate is placed in the hands of Trustees to provide an income to a charity.
- Substitutional / An estate is left to an individual who, if they predecease the donor, will pass their inheritance to a charity.
- Specific / Specific personal possessions such as property, stocks and shares, works of art, antiques, etc. are bequeathed to a charity.
- Deed of Variation / The beneficiary of someone's will transfers the whole or part of that inheritance to a charity.
- Life Assurance / A life assurance policy with a charity as the named beneficiary. For a modest premium this could provide guaranteed benefits for the charity. Further details available on request.
The most common ways to leave a legacy to the Schools is to name the Mill Hill School Foundation in your will or to leave a sum of money to the executors with instructions as to how and to whom the sum is to be distributed. A donor's lawyer or solicitor should be able to provide information as to how charitable legacies can be incorporated within a will. (We recommend that you always consult with legal advisors when drawing up a will. Similarly, if you are looking to leave a legacy to the Foundation [or any other charity] in the most tax-efficient manner, we suggest that you consult with appropriate financial advisors.)
If you have already made a will, but want to leave a legacy to the Schools, you can do this by adding a codicil to your will. However, please note that codicils are not legally binding on their own and have to be part of your main will. We therefore recommend that you always obtain the advice of your solicitor if attaching a codicil to a will.
Like codicils, pledge cards are not legally binding in their own right. However, they are useful in letting us know your legacy intentions and therefore adjusting our fundraising plans accordingly. (They are also useful aide memoires. from a personal point of view. Research suggests that some 35% of people are happy to leave bequests to charity but only 7% actually get round to completing the legal paperwork.) If you wish to leave a legacy to the Foundation – and become a member of the 1807 Society in the process – the Pledge Card is a useful first step and you can download the form here.
Alternatively, Nick Priestnall in the development office is always happy to provide help and advice.