A Gift for Tomorrow
Leaving a Legacy: How you can help blind and partially sighted people in Coventry through a gift in your Will
Why should I make a Will?
A Will is a legally binding document that ensures your loved ones will be taken care of and your wishes are carried out when you die.
If you die without a Will, there is a much more complicated process that has to go through the courts, and that is difficult and stressful. By making a Will, you are giving your family one less thing to worry about when you’re gone.
If you and your partner are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner does not have the same rights as people who are in a recognised legal partnership. By naming them in your Will you will ensure they are looked after as you intended.
If you think your estate might be liable for inheritance tax, you can use gifts to charity to reduce the amount. Your solicitor will help you.
You can use your Will, or a letter alongside it, to set out how you would like to be remembered at your funeral – and set aside funds for it, if you would like.
How do I make a Will?
We strongly recommend going to a qualified, reputable solicitor who will advise you.
Making a Will is not a complicated process for most people. A simple Will can cost as little as £100 – you should make sure to agree the cost with your solicitor beforehand.
In order to prepare, you should make a rough list of your assets and how you would like them to be distributed. If you can, you should also bring a list of your beneficiaries and their addresses.
You will need to nominate executors – people who will carry out your wishes according to the terms of your Will. You can have up to four but the recommended minimum is two. It’s best to choose people you trust who are good at paperwork.
Your executors must all be over 18, and you should ask them beforehand if they agree to the responsibility. You could also nominate your solicitor as executor, although they will charge for the service. Your executors can also be beneficiaries of your will.
When you sign your Will, you must do so in the presence of witnesses, who cannot be beneficiaries. You don’t have to let them see the contents; they only have to sign to say that you have signed. In most cases, your solicitor will be happy to witness or arrange witnesses.
I already have a Will. Can I change it?
Yes, you can. In any case it’s a good idea to review your Will every five years and keep it up to date. Most people do so after a significant life event, such as the birth of children, buying a new house or following a bereavement. That way you can be sure you are taking care of the people and causes that you care about most.
Marriage invalidates all previous Wills, so you if you marry or re-marry, you will have to make a new one.
For small changes you don’t necessarily need to rewrite your whole Will. You can have what’s called a Codicil, which sits alongside your Will and amends it as you wish. It still needs to be witnessed but is usually a cheaper option than making a whole new Will.
Why should I consider leaving a gift for CRCB?
Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind (or CRCB or the Resource Centre for short) is the only local charity in Coventry helping people with sight loss adapt, manage and lead full lives. It is a thriving, growing community full of joy that makes a huge difference to people who are struggling to cope with poor eyesight.
Sight loss often leads to a dramatic loss of confidence in managing even small tasks or in simply going out and meeting others. It particularly affects older people. Even with support from loving families, the result can be loneliness and poor mental and physical health. But with the right support, things can be very different, no matter how much you can or can’t see or how old you are.
The Resource Centre offers a wide range of activities to suit people with all kinds of interests, from learning new skills like computing, braille and how to cook for themselves safely to hobbies like craft, gardening and music, to social groups. There are also walks and outings and ways to keep physically active. As public transport is very difficult if you can’t see well and taxis are expensive, we run a minibus service that brings people to the centre and back home again safely so that more people can take part.
Our population is ageing, and because sight loss affects more people in the older age bracket than any other, the number who need our support is increasing each year.
By leaving a gift in your Will, you can help CRCB help blind and partially sighted people well into the future.
Before I started coming, I hardly ever went out and didn’t have many friends. I was stuck at home most of the day. When I first went to the centre I was a bit quiet but they were very friendly. I started to use the computer to type some football poems but now I go four days a week for Monday Club, Craft Club, Computing and Allotment Club. I’ve got really good friends now and we even go out together outside the centre. Things are much better than they were.
I was made to feel welcome as soon as I walked through the doors. The volunteers were very patient helping me with the computer and showed me some of the short cuts to make life easier. There are many activities arranged for all tastes and abilities. I look forward to my visit to the centre every week to meet and chat with my new friends. Whatever questions or problems crop up there is always somebody around to find the answer or if they can’t they will find someone who can. The centre provides me with company, fun and friendship.
I’d never used a computer before so I asked if could attend the ICT sessions. Within a few months I could just about use a PC through a screen reader program. I now also know how to use smartphones. I immediately found the volunteers to be friendly and helpful and they didn’t talk down to me at all: it’s really personal, face-to-face contact. This is one of the centre’s great advantages and it brings people out of their shells and gives them confidence to join in with the various activities. I’m now a volunteer myself, helping out at ICT and smartphone sessions and the Allotment Club every Thursday when a happy bunch of us get on the centre’s minibus and go and work and have a laugh on our accessible plot just down the road.
How can l leave a gift in my Will to Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind?
Once you’re happy that you’ve taken care of your loved ones, there are several different ways you can make a gift to CRCB in your Will.
Residuary Gift: After expenses such as debts, liabilities and inheritance tax and after any other specified gifts have been taken care of, you can distribute the remainder of your estate as percentage gifts to your loved ones and/or to CRCB.
Pecuniary Gift: A cash gift in an amount specified by you, say £1,000 or £10,000. But don’t forget inflation can affect the value or your gift over time, so it’s a good idea to look at it again every five years.
Specific Gift: A particular item or items, such as stocks and shares, the proceeds of a life insurance policy or even some jewellery.
Conditional Gift: This is a way to plan for unforeseen circumstances. For example if one or more of your beneficiaries dies before you do, you can say how you want their share to
Your solicitor will advise you on how to make your wishes clear, however here is some suggested wording that will ensure your gift is valid and will reach us:
I leave [the sum of
£______ OR ____ per cent of my
residual estate] to
Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind of 33 Earlsdon Avenue South, Earlsdon, Coventry CV5 6TH (registered charity number 1134570) for its general charitable purposes absolutely.
How will my gift be used?
Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind receives no public funding at all. We have to find every penny to make sure we can keep going. The charity holds regular fundraising events and also applies very year to charitable trusts and foundations for grants.
We are also very lucky to have a good number of friends and supporters who make regular donations or raise money on our behalf.
Your legacy gift could be used to fund a particular activity for a period of time, or it could buy an essential piece of equipment or pay for the refurbishment of a room. It could go into our reserves to help the charity overcome lean times in the future.
A large bequest could endow Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind for many years to come and ensure that future generations of visually impaired people in Coventry will always have the support they need as they learn to live with low vision.
We hope you will leave it to the charity’s trustees to decide how best to use your gift, but you could also specify how you would like it to be used if that is what you would like.
Your gift will help us provide the essential support that blind and partially sighted people in Coventry will need in the years ahead.
When you’ve had time to consider and discuss your decision with those closest to you, we’d love to know your intentions as it will help us plan for the future. If you wish, please complete the short form below and send it back to us, or send us a letter letting us know.
If you would like more information about Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind, please do not hesitate to contact us.