I recently had to rewrite my will and I was looking around at a range of charities that I might consider leaving money to and in doing so I posed myself three questions: Why? Who? and How?
Why leave money to charity? Well, it is one way of ensuring that activities you support can continue; it is tax efficient, as donations to charity do not fall foul of Inheritance Tax and I suppose, most important to me, it allows me to leave some permanent mark once I have gone.
There are literally thousands of charities, all seeking our donations to continue and develop their work, so how did I decide who to support? I looked around to find a charity that made a real, identifiable difference and which seemed to be well organised, with sound management. I also felt that I would like to support a charity that could potentially benefit all of us, rather than a narrower focus. Equally, I felt that local identity was important. After looking around, I decided that the GNAAS met my requirements and I decided to contact them. I was most impressed by their efficient and comprehensive response. I was sent a package explaining their aims and objectives and advice on how to make a bequest. Harriet Langston, their major gifts and legacies officer then invited me to an event being held in Gosforth Park in Newcastle. There we heard about the work of the charity from their chief executive, Grahame Pickering, who was very impressive, and also from a young lady whose life was saved by GNAAS intervention following a severe riding accident. It was really moving to hear her story and to see how vital the air ambulance can be when things go wrong. We later met the crew and medics when the helicopter landed and I was even more impressed by their professionalism and capabilities.
The decision for me to support GNAAS was very easy. It is local, it is efficient, it depends entirely on donations, it is independent, it is well managed and, to me most important of all, it makes a real difference to all the people of the North. Any one of us might need its services and it is reassuring to know that this group of exceptional professionals are there if we need them!
It is easy! Contact Harriet Langston at GNAAS head office and she will send you all the necessary information. I suggest that in writing your will, you leave a percentage of your “Residual Estate” to GNAAS, rather than naming a particular sum. This is because the value of your estate may change over the years and acting in this way ensures that your overall priorities will be unchanged.