Leaving a Lasting Legacy
1/3 of us pass away without leaving a Will and although some people may think it might not be worth leaving one, by doing so it means that your loved ones know exactly what your wishes were.
A lot of our work is actually funded by people leaving a gift to us in their will, also known as a ‘legacy’. Leaving money to charity is a tax-efficient way of distributing an estate and after expressing what they want to leave to their friends and family some people choose to leave a little something to a good cause. Some people like to suggest that a sum is left to the charity instead of buying flowers for their funeral.
We recognise our legacy donations left to us in our memoriam book, in our talks about the charity and in our reports. So it truly is leaving a legacy that will live on to support others for years to come.
We feel it is important to let you know what will happen with your gift and to put it basically, it will be used to ensure everyone living with sight loss in Wales can do so to the fullest, regardless of how much they can and cannot see. We aren’t a large charity and although we may work with other national sight loss charities from time to time no donations left to them gets filtered down to us. All of our money is spent in Wales and we ensure we keep our running costs to a minimum to we can spend every penny wisely to support our mission.
Loosing your sight can be devastating news and has a serious impact on a persons life and their mental health, our role is to support people in dealing with this the best way that they can and we often work with individuals for several months to help them regain their confidence and independence, we spend almost 60% of our income on this type of support.
Mr Watkins from Abersychan who was devastated when the eye clinic told him there wasn’t anything they could do to improve his cloudy vision, and he was registered blind. “I was so grateful to Sight Cymru, they’ve been really good. I’ll never get my sight back but at least I know where to go when things get difficult. I’ve been out learning how to use a cane, I joined a club and I even had a go at learning Braille. I was hopeless at it, but it was a good laugh!”
We also participate in research into blindness and sight loss, so that future generations may avoid losing their sight and as 50% of all sight loss is avoidable, we aim to prevent it as much as possible through education and awareness-raising. About 20% of our income is spent on helping people avoid sight loss.
How to leave a legacy
If leaving a legacy in your Will is something you would like to do, it’s pretty simple, you can ask your solicitor to include us in the list of bequests. Recognised by the Charities Commission, our Charity number is 214215, although using the name Sight Cymru will be sufficient.
You can choose what type of legacy you want to leave:
- A pecuniary legacy – fixed amount of money
- Residuary legacy- a share of the value of your estate
If you have already made a Will that is also not a problem at all, you can add something called a ‘Codicil’. This is a separate document that needs to be signed and dated the same way a Will would be, bit that allows you to make small amendments to your existing Will rather than creating a new one, which can be particularly useful if your circumstances change and makes adding a gift to charity pretty easy.
If you had a particular area or project that you wanted your money to support within the charity, you could also create a Letter of Wishes, which is an informal letter addressed to your executors giving them additional guidance on how you wish the money to be used.
Like all small charities, we depend greatly on legacy gifts to provide essential funding for our work, every gift makes such a difference, helping us to continue and sustain the work of the charity for years to come.