Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Remember a charity week

It’s Remember a Charity Week – an opportunity for supporters to consider leaving an incredible gift in their will, allowing charities to continue important work and plan for the future.

We spoke to Pav and Kirsty from our Individual Giving team, to find out the ‘how’s and ‘why’s of leaving a legacy gift to Missing People.

Why is it so important for Missing People to receive legacy gifts? 

Leaving a gift in your Will is the greatest gift you could give to Missing People; it will help us plan for the future to ensure our services and support are in place for years to come. We rely on voluntary donations to ensure our services remain free to the public.

With someone in the UK going missing every 2 minutes, gifts both large and small will make all the difference to the work we do. Appealing for a missing person is a vital service that we provide, as is our free and 24 hour helpline supporting those that are faced with the challenges of not knowing the whereabouts of a loved one.

Can I write the Will myself or should I get a professional to write it? 

It is possible to write a Will by yourself, however we do advise that you use either a solicitor specialising in estate and probate law, or a professional Will writing service.

You may also need legal advice for more complicated matters. You can search for a solicitor here, or find a professional Will writing service here.

I already have a will – how do I add Missing People?

If you already have a Will, updating it to include a gift to Missing People is quick and straightforward. A solicitor can draft an amendment, which is called a Codicil, for minimal cost. This will then be kept as an appendix to your original will.

What types of legacy gifts can I leave? 

The three main popular types of legacy gifts are:

  • Residuary Gift

The remainder, or percentage, of your estate after all other bequests and expenses have been deducted. This ensures your loved ones are taken care of first and a remainder or share can then be donated to Missing People.

  • Pecuniary Gift

This is a gift of a specific amount of money; it can be any amount, large or small. If you are thinking of leaving a specific gift to Missing People you might suggest to your solicitor that your cash gift is index-linked to ensure that its value increases with inflation.

  • Specific Gift

This is the gift of a specific item to be used or sold by Missing people; such as an antique, a property, jewellery or other valuables.

Is there a limit to how little or much I can leave in my will to charity?

There's no limit; we are grateful for whatever you can leave! What you might think is a small gift gift, in reality may mean a lot to the vulnerable people we support.

We would like to encourage all our supporters to consider leaving a minimum residuary gift of 1% of their estate. Leaving 1% could mean that we could reach out to more of the 250,000 people that go missing each year and work towards our vision that every missing person is found safe.

What is inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax is paid if a person’s estate is worth more than £325,000 when they pass away. This is called the ‘Inheritance Tax threshold’. However, most gifts to charity aren’t subject to Inheritance Tax. If you believe your estate is liable to Inheritance Tax, we recommend you speak to your legal advisor.

Do I need to tell you if I have included Missing People in my will?

You don't need to tell us. But, it you are able to, it means we're able to better plan for the future
and predict what funding we'll receive and therefore what services we'll be able to provide.

Ok, I’ve decided that I would like to leave a legacy gift, or at least find out more. What happens next?

Thank you so much! You can make your legacy pledge here. Or, if you'd like to speak to one of us about leaving a gift, please email or give us a call on 0208 392 4590.

We are currently seeking free Will providers, so please do get in touch with us first to check if we can recommend a free Will writing service to you.

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Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit

Call or text the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.