Adding a gift to charity in your Will offers each of us the opportunity to contribute to good causes in a way that may not be possible during our lifetime.
Some gifts in Wills are relatively modest, some substantial – every one helps. Below is just a small selection of areas where a gift in your Will could help.
||One of the largest conservation projects in Europe, the Coigach – Assynt Living Landscape aims to improve and reconnect habitats (especially native woodlands) and foster rural employment in one of the most remote parts of the UK.
A gift in your Will could help safeguard the future of this vast and beautiful landscape for generations to come.
||Fifty years ago, the red squirrel was a common sight in Scotland. But today the red squirrel needs your help, particularly to combat the threat of squirrelpox, a deadly virus that kills almost 100% of the red squirrels it comes into contact with.
A gift in your Will could help the Scottish Wildlife Trust continue the fight to Save Scotland’s Red Squirrels.
||In 2009, the Scottish Wildlife Trust played a lead role in bringing beavers back to Scotland for the first time in 400 years. Once seen throughout Scotland, beavers were hunted to extinction in the 16th Century, leaving a gap in the ecosystem.
A gift in your Will could help the Trust develop and realise pioneering projects like the Scottish Beaver Trial in the future.
You can make a real difference
Please consider leaving a legacy to the Scottish Wildlife Trust to ensure that our natural heritage is protected and appreciated. If you would like more information on leaving a legacy, please call Zoe on 0131 312 4772 or complete our online form.
Every gift in every Will, no matter how large or small, really does make a difference to the future of Scotland’s wildlife.
By having a valid and up to date Will in place, you can ensure that your nearest and dearest are provided for, as well as helping charitable causes that are close to your heart.
Remembering the Scottish Wildlife Trust in your Will is really simple. There are a number of options when it comes to making your Will, but we always recommend seeking professional help to ensure your Will is valid. This will give you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out the way you intended.
The contents of a Will
Once you’ve chosen who will draw up your new Will, you may be able to save time and money by considering a few things before making a start. These include:
- Who should inherit your property, money, shares and other assets and possessions
- Who should be responsible for looking after your estate (the executors)
- Special arrangements for your funeral
- Any charitable donations you would like to make
Making a new Will
The first step in making a new Will is to decide who will do this for you. The Scottish Wildlife Trust cannot recommend a particular solicitor or Will writer but the following links may be helpful in choosing the right one for you.
Using a solicitor: Find a solicitor in your local area through the Law Society of Scotland.
Using a Will writer: Professional Will writers are another option, but they are currently less regulated than solicitors. It is important to check that they belong to a professional body and follow a code of conduct. The Institute of Professional Will writers are just one of the bodies that might be able to help.
Using a bank: Many high street banks now offer a Will writing service for their customers. Please contact your local branch for further information.
Updating an existing Will
It is important to review your Will regularly to ensure it reflects your current wishes. Generally you should review your Will every five years or every time a ‘life-event’ happens.
For example when:
- You marry
- You have a child or grandchild
- There is a death in your family
- There is a change in your financial circumstances
- There are major changes in the types or rates of taxation
- You are going to live abroad
- You are moving to shared accommodation
- You separate or divorce from your spouse or partner
- A change in the health of either you or your partner
Updating your Will is a simple task and small changes or additions can be made easily using a Codicil. This is an instruction that is added to your existing Will but we recommend you seek professional help to make any changes and ensure it is legally binding.
Got any questions?
Thank you for considering leaving a gift to the Scottish Wildlife Trust in your Will. For more information, call Zoe on 0131 312 4772 or complete our online form. You may also find our comprehensive FAQs section useful.
Leaving a gift to charity in your Will need not be complicated.
Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions to help you get started. Simply click on a question to reveal the answer. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact Zoe on 0131 312 4772 or complete our online form.
By having a valid and up to date Will in place, you can ensure that your nearest and dearest are provided for, as well as helping charitable causes that are close to your heart. If you die without making a Will the State decides, and this could result in your estate not going where you would have wished. For instance, your husband, wife or partner may not automatically receive all of your estate.
Using a solicitor is the best way to make sure that your wishes are followed. ‘Do it yourself’ Wills, including ones you can buy in shops, can cause problems if details are left out or wording is not correct. These problems are often expensive to fix and could even mean your will is invalid.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust cannot recommend a particular solicitor or Will writer but the following links may be helpful in choosing the right one for you. Using a solicitor: Find a solicitor in your local area through the Law Society of Scotland. Using a Will writer: Professional Will writers are another option, but they are currently less regulated than solicitors. It is important to check that they belong to a professional body and follow a code of conduct. The Institute of Professional Will writers are just one of the bodies that might be able to help. Using a bank: Many high street banks now offer a Will writing service for their customers. Please contact your local branch for further information.
There are three mains types of gifts you can incorporate into your Will:
- Pecuniary – where you leave a defined amount of money e.g. £500
- Specific – where you leave a specific item e.g. a painting
- Residuary – where you leave a defined portion of the remainder of your estate (once all debts and other gifts have been honoured) e.g. 50%
For more information on types of gifts, download our Jargon Buster.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust benefits most from gifts that are left with no restriction, allowing us to use the money where it is needed most when it becomes available. Nevertheless, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your wildlife interests, which will be taken into consideration alongside current conservation priorities at the time your gift is received.
We do, however, appreciate that some prefer to restrict how their gift should be used. If this is the case, we would recommend that you contact us in the first instance to discuss how appropriate your restriction might be (given the timescales involved with gifts in Wills). In such instances, you might also consider including a reference in your Will on how you would prefer your gift to be used if we cannot comply with your original intentions. This will help ensure your wishes are honoured and that Scotland’s wildlife will benefit from your generosity as planned.
If you remember the Scottish Wildlife Trust in your Will, we may be able to act as your executor. Your personal circumstances will dictate whether or not we are able to accept this responsibility. We are bound by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, which sets out our legal terms of reference, and by our paramount duty to advance the conservation of Scotland’s biodiversity for the benefit of present and future generations. This means that we need to know how complex it would be to administer a supporter’s estate so that we can ensure that any expense incurred by acting as an executor is covered by the gift left to the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
If you would like to propose us as your executor, please email email@example.com or phone 0131 312 4720.
It is a good idea to review your Will from time to time to ensure it reflects any changes in your family or personal circumstances, such as marriage or divorce, the birth of children or grandchildren, or coming into an inheritance. It is also important to check if your estate is affected by inheritance tax because legislation changes over the years.
Updating your Will is a simple task and small changes or additions can be made easily using an instruction known as a Codicil. The Codicil can be added to your existing Will without requiring a full re-write.
Why not download our Codicil template, which includes a few simple rules on how to use a Codicil effectively. We also recomment that you seek professional advice to ensure it is legally binding.
We encourage people to let us know of their legacy pledge. Such information is by no means legally binding, nor do we expect you to disclose financial details. However, such information enables us to very broadly gauge long-term support, whilst also enabling us to thank you properly and keep you informed of the work of the charity. You can contact us using our simple online form.
You are free to change your mind at any time. Letting us know you plan to leave a legacy gift to the Scottish Wildlife Trust doesn’t commit you to doing so. However, it would be really helpful if you could tell us if you do change your mind.
“I cherish memories of the early summer evenings spent together in the bird hide at Bankhead Moss listening to the call of water rail, reed buntings and willow warblers.”
JEAN STEWART, DONALD’S WIDOW
Donald was a quiet man with a wonderful sense of humour. He loved bird-watching, and was always willing to share his knowledge of bird song.
An Aberdonian who finally settled in St Andrews, Donald Stewart was fortunate enough to travel widely during his lifetime. Yet there was always a special place in Donald’s heart for his local wildlife reserves in Fife and Angus, especially for Montrose Basin, Loch of Lintrathen, Kilminning and Bankhead Moss.
That was why Donald chose to leave a gift in his Will to the Scottish Wildlife Trust. We work with local communities to manage wildlife habitats across Scotland. Donald’s legacy will enable us to continue and build upon this work.
“Tom loved watching ospreys. He also spent many hours looking for the elusive pine marten and really would be pleased at how his gift has been used.”
WILLIAM KINSEY, TOM’S BROTHER
Tom Kinsey was born and brought up in Sheffield, but took Scotland to his heart when he arrived to work in the Department of Humanities at Glasgow University in 1953.
It was Tom’s great love for Scotland’s wildlife that prompted him to leave a gift in his Will to the Scottish Wildlife Trust. With his support, we were recently able to extend our Loch of the Lowes reserve, with the new land including the well-known tree that hosts the famous osprey nest.
“On and off I find myself thinking about what’s important to me in my life. It comes down to two main things. People and the planet we live on. I try to reflect this in all aspects of my life, which is why I wanted to do so in my Will.”
Paul describes himself as a fairly organised person and a believer in the motto “be prepared”, so it was with this in mind that he took the decision to write his Will.
Gifts to family members feature prominently as do gifts to charity, including the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Like many people, Paul has more than one charity which is close to his heart. By leaving a proportion of his estate to each, he has helped ensure that his legacy will make a difference to the causes he cares most about.
Thinking of leaving a legacy?
If you are considering including a gift to the Scottish Wildlife Trust in your Will, or have already done so, please let us know. Doing so is by no means legally binding, but we would like the opportunity to thank you and to acknowledge your support. For more information, call Zoe on 0131 312 4772 or complete our online form.
Our Legacy Charter
- We will always respect your privacy. We understand that your Will is completely personal to you.
- We understand that your family and loved ones will always come first.
- Because we are committed to protecting Scotland’s wildlife for the future, we always encourage people to leave something to the Trust. However, we recognise that it’s your decision and you need to make it in your own time.
- You can tell us that you have left a gift to the Scottish Wildlife Trust if you want to, and we’d love to hear, but you do not have to.
- If you do choose to tell us, we will give you the choice about how we talk to you in the future about our work to protect Scotland’s wildlife -work made possible by gifts like yours.
- We will never ask you to disclose the value or type of gift you have chosen to leave to the Trust.
- We assure you that your gift will be used carefully and cost-effectively so that it has the greatest possible impact on Scottish wildlife conservation.
- If you would like your gift to be used in a particular way we are happy to discuss your wishes, otherwise we will use it where the need is greatest when the time comes.
- At any time in the future you have the absolute right to change your mind about a gift in your Will to the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
Click on the links below to download information relevant to leaving a gift to the Scottish Wildlife Trust in your Will.