Leaving a legacy to us in your will is an effective way of supporting us after your death. Whatever you are able to leave to us will be used to ensure the continuation of the Library, and to improve the services and facilities we provide.
It is important that you state your wishes clearly, and include our name, Marx Memorial Library & Workers’ School, our address, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU, and our registered charity number, 270309
Why make a will?
A will is a legal document which sets out who you want to have your money and possessions following your death. If you do not make a will strict legal rules known as the "intestacy rules" will apply and may mean that the people who benefit from your estate are not the ones you would choose. For example, your estate will not necessarily all pass to your spouse after your death under the intestacy rules. Making a will ensures that your money and possessions go where you choose them to go.
How to make a will
- Make a list of everything you own and approximately how much it is worth
- Make a list of those you want to benefit from your assets after your death. Think of family, friends and charities. You can give either legacies of a specified amount or a share of the residue of your estate, which is the net amount once all the liabilities and any legacies you have given have been paid.
- Choose executors. They are the people responsible for carrying out your wishes after your death. You can appoint between one and four people who can be family, friends and/or a professional person such as a solicitor or an accountant.
- If you have children under 18 consider whom to appoint as guardian to take care of them if you and your spouse both die before they grow up.
- Contact a solicitor. If you do not have a solicitor asks friends and neighbours for recommendations or contact the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners on www.step.orgor 020 3752 3700 for a list of practitioners who specialise in the field.
- Discuss your requirements and the solicitor will then prepare a will for you to sign and witness. The solicitor will guide you through the strict rules for signing the will: follow them carefully because otherwise the will will not be valid.
- Keep your will up to date and review it regularly. If your circumstances change and particularly if you marry or decide to divorce you will need to make a new will. Check that any legacies you are giving are up to date and the amounts are sensible.
- Keep your will safe and make sure your executors and immediate family know where it is.
- Keep a list of all your assets and keep the paperwork somewhere where it can be found by your executors after you have gone.
If the total value of your estate is more than the nil rate band for Inheritance Tax purposes (£325,000 as at March 2015) inheritance tax will be payable on the excess at 40% unless you leave it to your spouse or civil partner or to another exempt beneficiary such as a charity. Gifts to a charity such as the Marx Memorial Library do not attract Inheritance Tax and can be used to reduce or eradicate Inheritance Tax in your estate. Your solicitor will be able to explain how it could affect you.
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