How is The Palace Trust funded?
The Palace Trust gets no statutory funding. We are supported entirely by grants from organisations like the National Lottery and Charitable Trusts, by donations from individuals and businesses; and by bequests from those who are no longer with us. This kind of support is vital if The Palace Trust is to continue its work in preserving The Bishop’s Palace in Wells for future generations to enjoy.
How we use legacy income.
Unless otherwise specified, all legacy income will be designated for the conservation and preservation needs of The Bishop’s Palace and its Gardens. If you wish your legacy gift to be allocated to the maintenance of the site as a visitor attraction, this should be stated in the wording of your will.
The importance of making a will.
It is vital for you to make a will. Yes, it costs a bit of money, but if you die without making a will the cost to your family, both financially and emotionally, will be far higher. And besides, making a will is the only way of ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you die. Once you have made a will, you need to make sure it is kept up-to-date, because people’s circumstances do change over time.
Why should I remember The Palace Trust in my Will?
Obviously your first concern will normally be your family and their needs. But once you have done that, you may need to think about Inheritance Tax (IHT). This is a tax levied at 40% of all estates in excess of £325k in value. You may believe that your “worth” is much less than that, but how valuable is your house? Many people unexpectedly find that there is an IHT bill to pay following the death of a loved one. But the good news is that legacies in favour of a surviving spouse and / or a registered charity are exempt from IHT. In addition, any Will which leaves 10% or more of the estate to a registered charity has the IHT on the rest of the estate reduced to 36%. So, a gift to The Palace Trust in your Will not only benefits the charity but may also save your estate some IHT!
What kind of gift can I give?
There are two principal types of bequest you can make:
A Residuary Gift is a percentage of your estate after all debts and other gifts have been paid. It is an excellent way of dividing your estate between your children and your chosen good causes, especially because it keeps up with inflation automatically.
A Pecuniary Gift is a fixed sum of money. It is possible to index-link this to inflation if you wish, though without this it can reduce in real value over the years.
The reality is a bit more complicated than this! Your professional adviser will be able to help you.
If you decide to make, or change your will, you next need to ensure that it is done correctly. The best way to do this is to approach a local solicitor, who will often offer a free initial chat to discuss options. The overall cost will probably be less than you think, but you should always make a point of getting a quote before proceeding.