Legacies

09 March 2009
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Leaving a legacy to Epilepsy Ireland in your Will allows you to make a significant gift, without affecting your finances today.

When making a Will, it is important to provide for our loved ones as a priority. Yet, it is also a unique chance to provide for an organisation that you care about and leave a lasting contribution. If you are in a position to leave something to a charity, we hope you will consider Epilepsy Ireland.

Every gift to Epilepsy Ireland will make a difference, however large or small, in our ongoing work supporting & representing people with epilepsy, raising epilepsy awareness and funding Irish epilepsy research.

Why should I make a will?

Making a will is the best way to make sure that your wishes will be followed when you are gone. Your loved ones will thank you too, as having your affairs in order will reduce risk of complications and added expense.

Where do I start?

Making a Will can seem like an overwhelming task at first but it need not be so. It is very easy to make a will, and it can be done at any time but there are some legal formalities that must be complied with. We recommend that you always make a Will through a solicitor who can offer invaluable guidance while also ensuring that your Will is legally binding.

If you do not currently have a solicitor, you can find a list of solicitors in your area from the Law Society's website www.lawsociety.ie.

Before going to your solicitor, it is a good idea to prepare by doing the following:

  • Make a detailed list of your assets and liabilities.
  •  Make a list of what you want to leave to whom.
  • Decide on who will be executors (people who will administer your estate and carry out your instructions). These can be members of your family, a business associate or a solicitor. It should be someone with some knowledge of your affairs and someone you can trust. Ensure that the person(s) you select would be willing to act in that role.
  • Make a note of any other questions which you would like to ask your solicitor

How do I leave a gift?

There are three different types of gifts that are most commonly given to charities through wills. We recommend you discuss each with your solicitor to find out which suits you best.

Pecuniary Legacy

You may decide to leave a specific sum of money to a charity, the sum of which is determined when you make your will. An example of wording used when leaving a pecuniary gift is:

"I give, devise and bequeath to Epilepsy Ireland of 249 Crumlin Road, Dublin 12 the sum of € ________ to be applied by it for any of its charitable objects as it at its absolute discretion may decide."

Residuary Legacy

If you would like to leave a gift from the remains of your estate after you have taken care of your family, friends and loved ones, you can bequeath the residue or part of the residue of your estate. An example of wording used when leaving a residual gift is:

"I give, devise and bequeath all [or a fraction] the rest, residue and remainder of my property of every kind and description to Epilepsy Ireland of 249 Crumlin Road, Dublin 12 to be applied by it for any of its charitable objects as it at its absolute discretion may decide."

Specific Legacy

You can also bequeath a particular item of value, for example jewellery, shares or property. An example of wording used in this case is:

"I give, devise and bequeath to Epilepsy Ireland of 249 Crumlin Road, Dublin 12 (the item specified) to be applied by it for any of its charitable objects as it at its absolute discretion may decide."

The type and amount of your bequest to Epilepsy Ireland is entirely up to you. Legacy gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated, and will have a lasting impact on our mission to improve the quality of lfe for people with epilepsy and their families in Ireland.

Can I change my will?

If your circumstances or wishes change, it is vital to review your Will to ensure that it is still current and in accordance with your wishes. It is also a good idea to review your Will every few years as the value of your assets may change over time.

If you wish to alter your existing Will you will need to contact your solicitor. If your changes are relatively simple, such as the addition of a charitable gift, you need to add a codicil, which is a legally binding document that details the amendments to your Will. You should consult a solicitor if you wish to add a codicil to your Will. A codicil needs to be witnessed and signed in the same way as the original will, and should be kept in the same place as the original will. 

Will my legacy to Epilepsy Ireland be taxed?

Legacies left to charities are completely tax-free meaning that 100% of any gift you might leave to Epilepsy Ireland in your Will, would go directly to our work. It is advised that you seek the advice of a professional regarding taxation and your Will.

Should I contact Epilepsy Ireland if I decide to leave a legacy?

We fully appreciate that a Will is a private matter and it is not strictly necessary that you contact us to let us know you have thought of us when making your will. However, knowing that a legacy has been left to Epilepsy Ireland enables us to plan for the future and most importantly allows us to show our gratitude to donors in their lifetime.

By letting us know your current intentions, you are under no obligation to make a legacy gift. We will of course respect your privacy at all times, and hold any discussions in the strictest confidence.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Further Information

If you are considering leaving a legacy to Epilepsy Ireland and would like to discuss it with us, please contact Peter Murphy or Glenna Gallagher at 01 4557500.

Epilepsy Ireland is a member of Mylegacy.ie, a group of charities that have come together to raise awareness about charitable bequests. See www.mylegacy.ie for more information.

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