Have you heard the one about legacies?

In May and June, pilots were undertaken in giving a short talk at branch and group meetings to help raise awareness of just how vital legacies (gifts left to us in supporters’ wills) are to our work; how easy it is to leave a legacy, and the important role that branches and groups can play in spreading the word.

These talks, at South London, Manchester, Cardiff and Exeter also promoted the availability of a new MND Association Legacy Information pack (a sample was sent to each branch secretary in the June branch mailing). The talks now form part of the regional fundraisers’ function and they welcome invitations to deliver legacy talks at branch or group committee meetings.

We depend almost entirely upon voluntary donations, and legacies have long been a vital element of that income. Their importance cannot be over emphasised. In recent years they have regularly accounted for over a third of the Association’s annual income.

Quite simply – legacies are absolutely vital in helping meet the costs of our world class research programme and extensive care services. But as we know, the demand for our services is growing all the time. Add to this the current economic climate, and there is concern among charities that the value of legacies may diminish and this could have serious repercussions.

The MND Association is fortunate in having very robust finances and other strong income streams, but with just 1 in 7 people making a will also including a gift to charity, we need to continue to ask our supporters to keep us in mind when considering legacies.

However, we always recognize that a valid will is first and foremost an important way to secure the future of family and friends and to make known personal wishes to those left behind. Only after providing for family and friends, do we ask people to consider including a legacy to the MND Association to help continue our work.

It’s simple to leave a legacy. It can be easily incorporated into a new or existing will and there can be any number of legacies in a will. There are different types of legacy with very technical sounding names but they are readily explainable. An explanation can be found on the Association’s website and in the new Legacy Information pack along with other useful and practical information.

An important consideration with any estate is taxation. Happily, any legacy left to a charity, like the MND Association, is exempt from inheritance tax. Again the information pack explains this more fully.

Legacies offer our supporters an important way of continuing to support the Association’s work after they have ‘departed the scene’ and, if wished, they can be recorded in a personal Tribute Fund – a permanent record of practical remembrance.

If you would like to know more or to request a Legacy Information pack, please email Stephen May at stephen.may@mndassociation.org or call him on 01604 611865.

You can also visit the legacy pages of the Association’s website at www.mndassociation.org/legacies

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