Legacy FAQs

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Can I specify how I wish my gift to be used?

Through our Charitable Legacy Service, you can specify how you wish your gift to be used by writing a 'Letter of Wishes'. 

This simple process gives you peace of mind that your legacy gift to your local community will be effectively managed by KCF according to your wishes. You may prefer to make a donation to support our core work as a registered charity, strengthening communities, encouraging local charitable giving and improving the lives of disadvantaged people in Kent.  Or you could choose to make a donation to one of our Themed Programmes, which offer a way for donors to pool their donations to maximise impact. Read more about General Gifts to Kent Community Foundation.

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What is a 'Letter of Wishes'?

A 'Letter of Wishes' is not a legal document and, unlike a will, it doesn't automatically become publicly accessible after your death, therefore it is more confidential. Instead, this versatile document is a letter you write to express your wishes and tell readers about specific things you want to happen after your death. You can change it at any time free of charge and without witnesses. 

You can write a 'Letter of Wishes' to Kent Community Foundation to give us clear guidance on how and where you would like your legacy gift to be distributed.

Please ensure your letter is always signed and dated as we will work to the most recent signed 'Letter of Wishes' available.  

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Does KCF have to adhere to my 'Letter of Wishes'?

Our Board of Trustees is legally responsible for ensuring that donations are used for charitable purposes in line with restrictions agreed with you as the donor. Your 'Letter of Wishes' is a practical vehicle to agree in advance with KCF your wishes and any restrictions relating to your charitable legacy gift.  Your gift, once received by KCF, does become the property of the charity and KCF has ultimate discretion over grant-making in line with the restrictions agreed with you as donor. In order to ensure that the original spirit of the gift is kept alive, KCF trustees retain the flexibility to respond to changing community needs if, over the years, restrictions become irrelevant, obsolete etc.

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What are the tax benefits for my estate when leaving a gift to KCF? 

All legacy gifts to a registered charity (KCF is a registered charity no. 1084361) are exempt from inheritance tax (IHT) and Capital Gains Tax and could reduce the total amount of tax paid on your estate. If you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity, any remainder over the IHT threshold will be taxed at the reduced rate of 36% rather than 40%. In our example below, leaving a legacy of £100,000 actually only ‘costs’ £24,000. We recommend discussing this with your Professional Adviser.

Legacy tax relief illustration

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Can I add KCF to my existing will myself?

KCF always advises that you use a Professional Adviser either to make a will or to change it by adding a codicil. Please click here for suggested wording. This need not be costly, and will ensure that your wishes are accurately fulfilled. If you name Kent Community Foundation in your will, you can then create a 'Letter of Wishes' with KCF to tell us how you want us to manage your gift.  Once you have set up a gift to KCF in your will, should you change your mind about how you would like this to be spent, this can be done by simply re-writing the 'Letter of Wishes' with KCF, without involving the legal costs of re-writing your will.

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Do I have to tell KCF that I intend leaving a gift through my will? 

It is up to you whether you wish to share some or all of the details of your private will. However, the advantage of telling KCF about a planned legacy is that we can have a dialogue to ensure we thoroughly understand the detail of your wishes.  It is helpful if we can work through your 'Letter of Wishes' together, and will give you confidence that we can manage your legacy fund in accordance with your wishes.

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Will people know that I have left KCF a gift in my will? 

The details of your will, once proved, will normally become publicly available. However, the advantage of a 'Letter of Wishes' with Kent Community Foundation is that the details of how you wish your charitable legacy to be used can remain private.  This is your choice. We will acknowledge you appropriately, and publicise your involvement in line with your wishes. If you wish to set up a Named Legacy Fund you may set up the fund in your name, in memory of a loved one or with an anonymous name of your choosing. In all cases, we will keep the details of any particular agreements with you confidential, subject to our legal and regulatory accounting requirements. 

We would like to be able to encourage other people by telling them about your kind donation in our newsletters and through our website or Annual Review, but we would only do this with your express permission.

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Will my legacy be restricted to Kent and Medway? 

Our core purpose is to support local causes in Kent and Medway, and that is where our expertise primarily lies. But we are flexible if donors wish to support causes outside this geographic area. Therefore if you would like to specify particular registered charities, national or international, outside Kent and Medway as recipients of part of your gift, then we have the ability within our charitable objectives to carry out your wishes. However, if your main beneficiary is outside this area, perhaps it would make more sense to consider another more appropriate arrangement. We are happy to discuss this with you. 

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Who makes grant decisions after my death? 

Legally, your gift is an irrevocable gift to Kent Community Foundation, and ultimately our Board of Trustees oversees the decision-making process. However, you can nominate family or friends to be part of the decision-making process, to retain a personal link. 

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What happens in years to come if my wishes become obsolete?

It is possible that certain charities or causes that you have named may become obsolete, which is why it is important that we understand your charitable intentions, through discussing your 'Letter of Wishes' with you. Then we can re-allocate grants from your gift to similar causes, or according to the spirit of your philanthropic gift. The beauty of a 'Letter of Wishes' is that you don’t have to specify actual charities or causes – KCF can use its expertise to find the most effective causes according to your criteria. If you do name certain charities and they were to become obsolete, we would find alternatives which closely match the named charity's objectives. KCF can be flexible in future years to ensure your legacy continues to meet the needs of your community.

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What is the contribution to KCF?

All of our funds make a contribution to Kent Community Foundation's own running costs and our general charitable purposes. We are a registered charity in our own right, so these contributions remain charitable donations. We set out below the typical contribution made by funds. 

For endowment funds, a contribution of approximately equivalent to 1.5% of the capital value at year end, each year, is normally retained for KCF’s general charitable purposes as a contribution towards the costs of managing and administering the fund. A set-up contribution may also be retained from the initial gift received, enabling KCF to set up the endowment but this will certainly be no more than 5%. 

For flow-through funds, a contribution of 10% is normally retained for KCF’s general charitable purposes as a contribution towards the costs of managing and administering the fund.   

Please email our Development Team or call us on 01303 814500 for full details. 

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Can I set up an ‘In Memory’ Fund?

An ‘In Memory’ Fund can be set up as a tribute to a special individual who is still around (as a special ‘thank you’ when they leave work or a voluntary position, for example), or to someone on or after their passing. It is similar to a legacy, and information about the person and their contribution will be registered in our Remembrance Book, and if wished, on our website, e-newsletter and Annual Review. Please contact our Development Team or call us on 01303 814500 to talk about how this might work.

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How do I find a solicitor? 

KCF must remain impartial, so cannot make a recommendation. For help finding a local solicitor please contact:

Law Society, T: 020 7242 1222  W: www.lawsociety.org.uk/choosingandusing/findasolicitor.law

Citizens Advice Bureau W: www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/family_parent/family/wills

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