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Leaving a Legacy to the BSHS

/Leaving a Legacy to the BSHS
Leaving a Legacy to the BSHS 2017-11-10T09:52:53+00:00

The British Society for the History of Science is a charitable organisation that depends for its survival on donations and the voluntary work of its officers. Every year, we distribute several thousands of pounds in grants, bursaries and prizes. In particular, we give money to students who would otherwise not be able to visit archives, travel to conferences or complete their research projects. You may have benefited personally from the BSHS’s generosity, and you almost certainly know people who have. Please help the Society to continue this work by remembering the BSHS in your will.

Making a new Will

Making a will is not complicated and should cost around £200. If you need help finding a solicitor, the Law Society is a good place to start.

  1. Appoint a professional adviser- usually a solicitor
  2. Work out what you have to leave, including the total sum of your property, money, and possessions, minus any outstanding debts like mortgages or loans.
  3. Decide who you would like to benefit from your Will, such as your family, friends, charities or good causes
  4. Choose executors to ensure your wishes are carried out. These can be professional advisers, friends or family members, or one of each.
  5. Finally, keep your Will safe and make sure your executors know where to find it. Give a copy to your solicitor.

Different types of legacy

  • A monetary or pecuniary bequests leaves to the BSHS a specified sum of money (which can be index-linked to make sure its value is not reduced by inflation).
  • A residuary bequest leaves to the BSHS a percentage of the remainder of your estate, after other legacies and charges have been met.
  • A reversionary bequest leaves your assets to a named beneficiary (for example, your spouse) for their lifetime, with the whole or a proportion reverting to the BSHS on your death.
  • A specific or non-monetary bequest allows you to leave shares, property, stocks, pictures or furniture to the BSHS on terms that they be sold when advantageous to provide funds for the Society. If you are considering this type of bequest, please contact us so that we can discuss what you have in mind.

Using the right wording

We recommend using one of the following wordings to leave a legacy to the BSHS in your Will, as long as the bequest is straightforward

If you are leaving a pecuniary bequest (a fixed sum of money), please consider index-linking it using the following form of words so that it preserves its value over time:

“I give to the British Society for the History of Science (registered charity no 258854)
the sum of £(amount) (the Legacy) free of tax and indexed  as below for the general charitable purposes of
the Society and I declare that the receipt of the President or other authorised officer for the time
being of the Society shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my Executors

I direct that the sum due to the Society under this gift shall be the sum of money produced by dividing
the Legacy by the index figure in the Index of Retail Prices for the month in which this Will is executed
and (having allowance for any re-basing of the Index which may have happened in the meantime)
multiplying it by the index figure in that Index for the month in which my death occurs. If when the
time comes the second of these figures is not available (because that Index has ceased publication
or for any other reason) my Executors (making use if they wish of any other index which may seem to
them relevant and obtaining any advice which they may think desirable) shall reach a decision
(which shall bind the Society and everyone interested in my estate) as to what in their view that
index figure would have been if it had been available and shall use the figure on which they decide for
the purposes of the calculation’’

For a basic pecuniary bequest (non-index-linked) please use this form of words:

  “I give to the British Society for the History of Science  (registered charity no 258854)the sum of
£(amount) free of tax for the general purposes of the Society and I declare that the receipt of the President
or other authorised officer for the time being of the Society shall be a good and sufficient
discharge to my executors.”

For a residual request (percentage of estate), please use the following form of words:

  “I give to the British Society for the History of Science (registered charity no 258854) the residue of /
( proportion) of the residue of my estate/the sum of £(amount) free of tax for the general purposes of the
Society
and I declare that the receipt of the President or other authorised officer for the time being of
the Society shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my executors.”

Updating an existing Will

If you already have a Will, but you have decided that you would like to leave a gift to the BSHS, there’s no need to rewrite it completely – you just need to add a simple codicil.

A codicil doesn’t have to change the terms of your Will: it is a supplement, which changes or amends part of the Will. If you decide to change your Will substantially, we would suggest that you contact your solicitor for advice.