Leaving a gift to ACN in your Will FAQs

Questions about leaving a gift to Aid to the Church in Need in your Will
If you have any questions about leaving a gift to Aid to the Church in your Will, you may be able to find the answers in our FAQs about legacies, or in our Legacy leaflet, ‘Thy Will Be Done’.

If you have a question about leaving a gift to Aid to the Church in Need in your Will, you may be able to find the answer on this page.

If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us and we will do our best to help you. Or you can ask your solicitor for further advice.

Making your Will

Q: Can I speak to someone at Aid to the Church in Need about legacies?
A: Our Legacy Officer will be pleased to answer, in confidence, your questions about leaving a gift in your Will. Please contact us if you would like to speak to the Legacy Officer.

For detailed, independent legal advice relating to your personal circumstances, we strongly recommend that you consult a reputable solicitor.

Q: Can you help me find a good Catholic solicitor in my area?
A: We do not have a list of Catholic solicitors, but your parish priest can usually recommend a reputable solicitor, or else you can try to obtain a personal recommendation from one of your friends at church.

Q: Is there a special wording I should use when including Aid to the Church in Need in my Will?
A: You can download our legacy leaflet, Thy Will Be Done, which contains a suggested wording for making a bequest to charity in your Will. If you prefer, we can post a copy of this leaflet to you. Your solicitor can refer to the wording when he or she draws up your Will.

Q: I am reluctant to incur the expense of a solicitor in drawing up my Will. Won’t my money go to my next-of-kin even if I don’t make a Will?
A: Solicitors have traditionally regarded the drawing up of Wills as a service to the community, so their charges are usually quite modest, unless the Will is a very complex one. A typical charge for drawing up a simple Will might be £100 + VAT. This would include a consultation and the signing of the Will.

If you don’t make a Will, your assets must be distributed according to the rules under the law of intestacy. These rules might coincide with your intentions, but no friends or charities could benefit directly under these rules. The only way to ensure that your exact wishes are carried out is to make a valid Will.

How we use legacy bequests

Q: What does Aid to the Church in Need do with legacy bequests?
A: Legacies help us maintain a regular flow of money to the poor and persecuted Church. Of course, both donations and legacies are subject to fluctuation, but taken together they tend to provide a reasonably stable flow of income to the charity, so that we can plan ahead and fund our projects confidently. Some of our larger projects, such as the building of new seminaries, would simply not be possible without the generosity of benefactors who have left substantial sums to our charity in their Wills.

Q: Can I specify a particular purpose for a legacy to Aid to the Church in Need?
A: You can choose to leave a gift to a specific area of Aid to the Church in Need’s work, but if your legacy is restricted to a particular project, it is possible that circumstances may change in the future and we will no longer be able to use it for that project.

In extreme cases, the law may prevent us from benefiting at all from your Will. Therefore we would prefer your legacy to be for our general charitable purposes, so that we can use your gift where the need is greatest at that time.

Leaving your gift

Q: I don’t want to leave a specified sum of money to charity, in case there isn’t enough in my estate to pay it.
A: You can leave a share of your estate, rather than a specified sum of money. The amount that we receive will depend on your assets and liabilities when you die. You can ensure that your relatives and friends are left appropriate shares, and then your favourite charities could benefit from whatever share is left. Your solicitor can advise you on how to do this.

Q: I can only leave a few hundred pounds to Aid to the Church in Need. Is this worthwhile?
A: Very much so, because the cost of administering legacies is relatively low and even a modest legacy represents a welcome ‘farewell’ from a supporter of our work.

Q: How does leaving a legacy to charity affect the liability of my estate to Inheritance Tax?
A: Anything you leave to a registered charity in your Will is normally exempt from Inheritance Tax, and will also reduce the potential liability of your whole estate to the tax.

If you still cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us and we will do our best to help, or get in touch with your solicitor.