Leaving a legacy

Trevor James
Trevor James, Treasurer,
The Christian Institute Council

Dear Friend,

Many people today realise the importance of making a will. It is a natural thing to want to plan for the future to ensure that your savings and possessions will be dealt with in accordance with your wishes. If you do not have any relatives and you fail to make a will the State may take everything.

Having a will helps give you peace of mind. This explains how to go about making a will. It is quite simple and it is much safer to pay an expert a small fee to draw up a watertight will than to rely on a home-made will which may turn out to be worthless.

For most people their primary concern is for their families. However, many people also use their will to leave money to causes that they have supported during their lives. A great deal of Christian work is funded by gifts given in this way. Giving to a charity may reduce the tax on your estate.

When you make your will we hope that you will think of The Christian Institute. If you have already made a will you can easily amend it to include a gift to The Christian Institute. By leaving a legacy you will enable us to do more to promote Christian standards in public life and to fight for a better future for the generations to come.

If you have any questions about making a will, please write to me at:

The Christian Institute, Wilberforce House
4 Park Road, Gosforth Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE12 8DG

I will do my best to answer your queries.

Thank you.

Trevor James
Treasurer, The Christian Institute Council

Making a will – the basics

Making a will need not be complex or expensive. However, we would strongly advise you to go to a solicitor. Most solicitors charge a modest fee for drawing up a simple will. You may wish to contact a few solicitors to find out their charges.

Your solicitor will make sure that all your wishes are clearly expressed and that your will is properly set out and witnessed.

To make things easier when you see a solicitor you should do the following beforehand:

  1. Compile a list of your main assets. Include your house, your investments, pensions, shares and savings as well as any valuable items such as jewellery, antiques or paintings.
  2. List any liabilities such as your mortgage and other loans.
  3. Decide who you want to appoint as Executors (those who will see to it that your will is carried out). It is wise to ensure that at least one is younger than you. You may wish to ask your solicitor to act as one of your Executors. He can also keep your will safe for you.
  4. If you have any dependent children it is advisable to appoint somebody as a Guardian for them until they are eighteen.
  5. Decide who you want to benefit from your will.
  6. If you want to leave particular items to specific individuals, take appropriate details to your solicitor.

Amending your will

Once you have made a will you can revise it at any time. Minor changes can be made without needing to make a new will. This is done by completing a formal document called a codicil. This is placed with your will and forms part of your instructions.

If you have any problems or questions, please Contact us.

Why leave a legacy to the Institute?

The Christian Institute is a registered charity. Supported by individuals, trusts and churches, it has, for over three decades, been bringing a Christian influence to bear upon the secular world of British politics and public policy. It has influenced major legislation affecting education, the family and religious freedoms.

We are fortunate in this country to have a great Christian heritage. For centuries our laws have been firmly rooted in biblical principles. The Christian faith has been promoted, marriage has been honoured and the sanctity of human life has been protected.

But this heritage is being eroded. Issues of great concern to Christians are constantly discussed and debated by people in Parliament, in the media and by other opinion-formers and policymakers. These people have power to change things - for better or for worse. Christians are often dismayed at the lack of a clear Christian voice in these debates.

The Christian Institute helps people in public life who want to take a stand for Christian truth. We produce briefings and provide media comment. We have developed a reputation for courageously and ably presenting the case for Christian standards to be promoted and upheld in law and public policy.

Marriage and the family

Your legacy will enable us to carry out vital research and to produce key briefing materials to help politicians, journalists, church leaders and other people in public life to fight for marriage and family values.

Protecting young people

Your legacy will enable us to fight for Christian truth to be promoted in schools. It will let us campaign for policies that help young people to understand the benefits of marriage and to resist the many pressures to engage in harmful and destructive behaviours.

The sanctity of life

Your legacy will help us to argue the pro-life case and to oppose legislation which will undermine the sanctity of human life.

Defending religious liberties

Your legacy will help us to defend the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to live and bring up their children in accordance with their beliefs.

If you have any problems or questions, please Contact us.

How you can leave a legacy to the Institute

Whatever its size, any legacy in favour of The Christian Institute will be greatly appreciated and will enable us to do more to promote marriage and the family, to protect young people and the sanctity of life, and to defend Christian freedoms for generations to come. We will ensure that your legacy is put to good use.

There are different types of legacies. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on which type will be most suitable in your circumstances.

Residuary Legacy

A residuary legacy is the gift of a percentage of what is left of your estate after your debts have been settled and any legacies you leave to other people have been paid. Generally, this kind of legacy is the most beneficial to charities as its value increases in line with the value of your estate. This compensates for inflation.

Pecuniary Legacy

A gift of a specified sum of money, the amount of which is decided when the will or codicil is made, is called a pecuniary legacy. When considering making a pecuniary legacy, bear in mind the fact that, due to inflation, a sum of money specified now will almost inevitably be worth less in real terms in the future. For example, a legacy of £1,000 written into a will in 1991 when the Institute was formed was worth £567 twenty years later.

Specific Legacy

When a particular item is bequeathed, this is called a specific legacy. This could include stocks and shares, the proceeds of a life assurance policy, property, furniture or jewellery.

Wording Your Legacy To The Christian Institute

Take a copy of this with you when you go to see your solicitor. He or she may find it helpful to adopt the following wording when including The Christian Institute in a will.

"I give __________ to The Christian Institute, Charity No. 1004774, of Wilberforce House, Gosforth Business Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, for its general charitable purposes and I declare that the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer or other proper officer of The Christian Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne for the time being shall be a full and sufficient discharge for my Executors."

It is by no means essential, but would you consider letting us know if you decide to leave a legacy to The Christian Institute? It would certainly be an encouragement to us.

If you have any problems or questions, please Contact us.