legacy FAQ

Leaving a Gift in Your Will: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a gift in my will?
How will leaving a gift in my will help Trellis?
Don’t I have to be rich to leave a legacy?
Do I need to make a will?
How do I start the process of getting a will written and how much does it cost?
What are the different types of gifts in wills?
Need more information?


What is a gift in my will?

A will is a legal document stating your wishes about what should happen to your assets after death. Wills must be in written form, signed, dated and witnessed.
A gift in a will is a quantity of money (or property) left to a specified beneficiary in a will, also known as a legacy.

How will leaving a gift in my will help Trellis?

Donors who remember Trellis with a gift in their will make a profound difference to our work. By giving support in this way, you help sustain our services for generations to come. If you do make a gift in your will, do consider letting us know via our pledge form so that we can thank you in your lifetime.

Don’t I have to be rich to leave a legacy?

Leaving a gift to a charity in your will is not just for wealthy people. It’s a chance to give to a cause that’s close to your heart and to ensure your wishes are respected after your death. 
Whatever you can afford to give, you can make a difference.

Do I need to make a will?

The decision to make a will is personal. If you don’t make a will, the law will define what is done with your money and property.
If you make a will, it’s you who’s in charge of decisions about what happens to your estate.

How can I start the process of getting a will written and how much might it cost?

While it’s not necessary to hire a solicitor to make a will, there is a risk that your will could be open to being contested and your directions overridden if it’s not written in a legally sound way. It is therefore generally recommended that you take legal advice when writing a will. It’s also a good idea to review your will after any significant changes (e.g. buying a new house, getting married) to ensure it is up to date, legally secure and reflects your current wishes.

The cost of writing a will vary but start at about £150. Some solicitors may offer a reduced fee for preparing wills for both parties of a couple. You may also be able to arrange a will for free or at a discounted rate through an insurance policy or trade union.

At certain times of year, some groups of solicitors offer will-writing services free of charge, in schemes where the will-making client makes a donation to charity. 

What are the different types of gifts in wills?

There are several ways to leave money and property to beneficiaries in your will. You can leave a cash gift, a percentage of your entire estate or particular personal or household items.

Pecuniary legacies are an exact sum of money, stated in a person’s will.
A residual legacy is a share or balance of your estate, the ‘residue’ that remains after deduction of taxes, costs, any debts and all other bequests have been paid. You could decide to give the entire residue to Trellis or a share of it. The value of a residuary legacy will be determined following your death. This means that the value of the legacy will increase with the value of your estate.
A specific legacy is the gift of a particular item(s). This could be stock or shares, property or personal possessions such as jewellery.
Whichever way you choose to make or update your will it's absolutely vital to include our full name. Please specify that you are leaving your gift to Trellis, Registered in Scotland as Trellis Scotland, Company no. 299227 – Scottish Charity no. SC037429. If you simply leave it to "Trellis" your gift may not reach us.

If you are concerned about the fundraising tactics of Trellis, or any charity in Scotland, please contact Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel 0808 164 2520, visit the website or email info@goodfundraising.scot

Need more information?

We hope this information answers some of your questions about making a gift in your will. If you would like to discuss any aspect of making a gift to Trellis, you can talk to Fiona or Jo on 01738 624 348. We're not legal experts but can certainly help with questions about the impact of legacy giving on the work of Trellis, how we work with people who pledge legacy gifts, and other aspects of our fundraising work. It's always a pleasure to hear from supporters.

You can find additional help from various expert web pages such as:

The Law Society of Scotland

Money Saving Expert

Citizens Advice Bureau

Which? Magazine




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