Leaving a legacy to the SOC

Leaving a legacy to the SOC, safeguarding Scotland’s birds for the future

YBTC Tern boxes

Making Tern boxes on the Young Birders Training Course, by Stuart Rivers

 

“I joined the SOC as a 13-year old with a keen interest in birds. Branch outings, indoor meetings and the friendship and experience of fellow members furthered my fledgling birding education and caught my attention to such an extent that it made my subsequent choice of a career in nature conservation an easy one.

Now just a few decades later, young people today have a lot more choices, with the world seemingly a much smaller place and with a range of competing attractions and interests accessible at the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen.

Being able to fund formal training for young birders is a fantastic opportunity for the SOC to ensure that in years too come, there will be another generation of birders recording, conserving and speaking up for Scotland’s birds”.

                                               Ian Thomson

 

Legacy gifts have enabled us to carry out and support some of our most important projects and research and we cannot thank you enough for considering this way to support us.

Here’s some of the work we’ve been able to carry out, and projects we’ve been able to contribute to so far, thanks to the financial support of individuals who’ve remembered the SOC in their Will…

* The Young Birders’ Training Course; the Club funded six young ornithologists to spend a week learning bird survey skills on the Isle of May

* CASE Studentship; legacy income has enabled us to jointly fund an Aberdeen PhD student investigating the winter distribution of Shag

* Expanding the George Waterston Library

* Supporting research through the SOC Endowment Fund

* The ‘What’s Up?’ project; the Club has committed three years of funding to support the BTO in increasing biological recording across Scotland’s upland habitats

* Production of The Birds of Scotland Digital

* The Isle of May Bird Observatory redevelopment

There are various ways you can remember the SOC in your Will, including leaving a bequest of books to the Club,  and we hope that this page will guide you through the process. If we don’t answer all of your questions here, then please get in touch with Jane at Waterston House using the form below, by email at membership@the-soc.org.uk or on 01875 871 330. All enquiries are confidential and without obligation. 

 

The SOC would always advise that you seek advice from a solicitor before making or changing your Will to ensure that your wishes are carried out accurately. 

How to leave a bequest to the SOC in your Will – a guide

All you need to do is to include our full name of The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, alongside our registered office address and registered charity number, and then state what form you would like your bequest to the charity to take (see ‘Types of legacy’ below).

Registered office address:

The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, Waterston House, Aberlady, East Lothian, EH32 0PY

Registered Charity Number:

SC009859

However, if you want to make completely sure of the correct wording used to make a bequest, please use the example wording provided underneath. Your solicitor will also be able to assist you with this.

 

Types of legacy

There are a few different kinds of gifts you can leave in your Will. All sizes and types of bequest are greatly appreciated.

1. Residuary bequest – legacy of all or part of the remainder of your estate

The gift of a set percentage of your estate after all other bequests have been made and debts paid is called a residuary bequest.

Example wording for giving a residuary legacy:

I give all (or a specified percentage of) the residue of my estate absolutely to the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (Registered Charity Number SC009859) of Waterston House, Aberlady, East Lothian, EH32 0PY, for the general purpose of the Club and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being or other duly authorised officer of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club shall be a sufficient discharge to my executors”.

 

2. Pecuniary bequest – fixed sum legacy

The gift of a fixed sum of money in your Will is called a pecuniary bequest.

Example wording for a pecuniary legacy:

I give to the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (Registered charity number SC009859) of Waterston House, Aberlady, East Lothian, EH32 0PY, the sum of £ (in words and numbers) for the general purpose of the Club and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being or other duly authorised officer of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club shall be a sufficient discharge to my executors”.

 

3. Specific bequest

The gift of a particular named item left in your Will such as art work, book collection or shares, is called a specific bequest. If you are considering leaving a specific bequest, please do be aware that if we cannot use the gift directly for the work of the charity, we may wish to sell the item and put the proceeds into the Club.

Example wording for a specific bequest:

“I give to the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (Registered charity number SC009859) of Waterston House, Aberlady, East Lothian, EH32 0PY, the specific item(s) of _________ for the general purpose of the Club and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being or other duly authorised officer of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club shall be a sufficient discharge to my executors”.

 

Frequently asked questions

Can I make my own Will?

Yes you can write your own Will, however unless you are legally trained you run the risk of drafting a Will in a way that may be unclear. A tiny error could invalidate the whole document. For these reasons the SOC would always recommend that you seek assistance from a solicitor to ensure that the wording is clear and precise and that your true intentions are carried out.

How do I leave a gift to the SOC if I already have a Will?

In this case speak to your solicitor who can draw up a Codicil (‘a change or addition to the Will’) if it is a simple change. This means there is no need to make a new Will. When completed and witnessed a Codicil becomes a legal part of your Will and should be kept with the Will it refers too.

Are there any tax advantages of leaving money to a charity?

If you leave an estate of a certain value or above (this value can change with each Government Budget), it may be subject to inheritance tax. The inheritance tax threshold currently stands at £325,000 (2013-2014). Any value of your estate over this figure will be liable for 40% tax, however gifts to charities are awarded before the valuation is calculated. From April 2012, people who leave 10% or more of their net estate to charity can choose to pay a reduced rate of Inheritance Tax of 36%. For more information on inheritance tax, go to the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Thank you very much for giving this your consideration.