Letter from the National Chairman
Dear Animal Anti-Cruelty League supporter,
Most of us would rather not think about death – especially our own. That’s probably why so many people never make a Will. I believe everyone should have an up-to-date Will.
I don’t want to leave my affairs in a mess for others to sort out, that is why I have already written my Will. I’m determined to ensure my family and friends are provided for, and that everything happens the way I want when I’m no longer around.
I also want to ensure that the fight against cruelty to animals in South Africa goes on. I love animals, and am constantly horrified at the way people mistreat them just for the sake of greed or because they don’t know any better. So I have included a residuary legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League in my Will and hope this will be used for further Education.
Many of our supporters ask how they too, can leave a legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, and that’s why we have prepared this guide to show how easy it is to go on helping animals after your death, and to encourage you, after providing for your friends and family, to remember the Animal Anti-Cruelty League. I hope you will find this guide helpful. If you have any questions, please call the League on (011) 435 0672 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why you need an up-to-date will
Many people believe that if they don’t have a Will, all their possessions automatically go to their next of kin.
Broadly, that’s true. But who is your next of kin? It is just one person or several? What if your husband or wife, children and parents are still alive – will your Estate be divided equally? What if you’re living with someone and not married to them?
Without a Will, you can’t choose – there’s a legal order to follow. If your belongings (including your savings, home, furniture, jewellery, insurance etc.) are worth more than R 1,000,000.00 (One Million) in total, they may be shared between various relatives.
So the only way to make sure you control what happens to your possessions is with a properly worded Will, prepared by an Attorney, Bank Manager or a Trust Company according to your instructions.
Otherwise, the people you love might find themselves struggling with all sorts of legal and financial complications, which can lead to a lengthy delay in any monies being paid and even short-term financial hardship for your family.
When you need to review your Will
You may already have a Will, but is it accurate and up-to-date?
Does it accurately reflect your current personal circumstances? If not, it’s certainly a good idea to review it with your Attorney, Bank Manager or at Trust Company you may even find it has become invalid.
You will need to review your Will if…
- You have married since you wrote it. This makes it invalid, unless you included your marriage plans.
- You are living with, or intending to marry, a new partner, and wish to include them in your Will.
- You have divorced since you wrote it. This does not invalidate the entire Will, but it cancels any mention of your ex-husband or ex-wife as a beneficiary or Executor.
- Your Estate has changed in value since you wrote your Will.
- You have new children or grandchildren, or new relatives through marriage, and you wish to include them.
If you do need to make changes to your Will, you can often do so very easily by adding what Attorneys call a Codicil – an amendment. Make a note of what you want to change and visit your Attorney, Bank Manager or Trust Company as soon as possible.
Choosing the right executors
Your Executors are the people who make sure your wishes are carried out. You can name as many executors as you like, though most people choose two. They can be friends, relations or professionals such as doctors or civil servants.
It is often sensible to name a professional as one executor, as they can be more efficient at dealing with Probate, the Inland Revenue, or anyone questioning your wishes. Also, naming a bank or a legal firm means you don’t have to worry about changing your Will if your executor dies or moves abroad.
If you are leaving a legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League you can name us as an Executor. Through our Attorneys we are authorized to act as executors and deal with the issues that can arise over Wills.
Your questions answered
Should I write or change my Will myself?
No. You should always use an Attorney, Bank Manager or Trust Company. Otherwise you could be creating problems later for your family and friends.
How do I go about making a Will?
First, find an Attorney or go to your Bank Manager or the Bank’s Trust department. If you don’t already have one, ask your friends for recommendations, and phone to compare prices. (costs of drawing up a Will). Alternatively, contact us by telephone, email or by using the “Special Information Request form” (Special Infomation Request.pdf) and we will send you a list of Attorneys. (We cannot recommend individual Attorneys, but the list will include legal practices in your area). Second, work out the approximate value of your Estate. The Check list, below, will help you do this. Third, decide who the beneficiaries might be, e.g. children, other family members, friends, Animal Ant-Cruelty League, any other charities and divide your Estate into percentages.
What does it cost?
Wills are not costly. Your Attorneys, Bank Manager or your Banks Trust Department will give you an idea of the costs involved for a simple Will, or for ‘mirror wills’ – basically a joint Will for a couple. What if I only want to make minor changes? You should still consult an Attorney, a Bank Manager or a Trust Company, but you may just need a simple amendment called a codicil, which doesn’t cost as much as a complete Will.
Who has to pay Estate Duty?
If your Estate is worth more than R 1,000,000.00 (one million Rand), your Estate has to pay estate duty at a rate, as set by the Receiver of Revenue. ( 2% but it may have changed since this document was originally written). (This is calculated on the Net Value of your Estate as follows: Total Assets; Less Total Liabilities; Less bequests to charitable organizations = Net Value of your Estate. From the Net Value deduct R 1,000,000.00 and the result is the dutiable amount of your Estate. Use the check list, below, to calculate the Net Value of your Estate.) Properly drawn up Wills can reduce Estate Duty. Leaving gifts to charities can reduce the value of your dutiable Estate.
How a gift to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League can help you?
Leaving a gift in your Will to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League is an extremely tax-efficient way to give to charity. That’s because your gift can also have the effect of lowering the Estate Duty payable on your Estate. Essentially that means you can help the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, and reduce the amount of tax your family has to pay at the same time. If you think your Estate may be liable for Estate Duty, talk to your Attorney, Bank Manager or tax advisor about ways of reducing this. Bequests to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League can help you reduce your Estate Duty liability, as the Animal Anti-Cruelty League is exempt for tax purposes. A legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League lets you go on caring for animals long after your death, and helps us to plan long-term projects. It’s simple and inexpensive to write or update a Will… it helps ensure the kind of future youd like to see …and of course it costs you nothing during your lifetime.
Making a Safer Place for Animals
The Animal Anti-Cruelty League has been campaigning since 1956 to protect all animal life. Working with its member societies, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League has a wide spread animal protection network in South Africa.
With branches around South Africa, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League provides shelter for abandoned animals, promotes an efficient adoption programme, prosecutes animal cruelty cases, runs welfare hospitals for the lower income groups, visits underprivileged areas with fully equipped Mobile Clinics and regularly addresses schools and clubs on the challenges of animal welfare.
The Animal Anti-Cruelty League
The Animal Anti-Cruelty League undertakes a huge number of projects every year to help relieve animal suffering. However, without our supporters we wouldn’t be able to help a single animal, and legacies are particularly important to us because they promise us funds for the future, allowing us to plan long-term campaigns and education programmes. Legacy income, and interest derived from it, pays for a lot of all the work we do.
Including the Animal Anti-Cruelty League in your Will
Remembering the Animal Anti-Cruelty League in your Will is the perfect gift to animals all over South Africa. It costs you nothing during your lifetime – except perhaps for the small costs involved in amending your Will – yet it ensures that we can continue to fight, for a cause you believe in, after you die.
There are three main ways to include the Animal Anti-Cruelty League:
- You can make a pecuniary legacy (a gift of a stated sum of money)
- A specific gift (an item of value such as your house), or a residuary legacy.
- A residuary legacy is the best way to provide long-term funding for our vital campaigns. It consists of anything left over after your other bequest and liabilities have been met. You can leave a residuary legacy to a person or an organization, or divide it between a group of people or organizations, including the Animal Anti-Cruelty League.
From our point of view, a residuary legacy is the best for two reasons:
- First, because it means your Will does not need to be updated so frequently.
- Second, because it usually makes your gift worth more to us, since your legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League is not affected by inflation.
If you wish, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League staff can come and talk to you about helping animals through your Will (although we cannot actually write it for you). Please use the “Special Information Request form” (See PDF below) or call or email us. Special_Information_Request.pdf
How to make and word a legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League
If you wish to write a new Will and include a legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League after you have provided for your friends and family, your Attorney, Bank Manager or Trust Company will be happy to arrange it.
Suggested wording for your legacy to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League:
1. Residuary Legacy
|“I give (residue clause) to the Welfare Organisation called the Animal Anti-Cruelty League National Body of 59 Alice Street, Regents Park, Johannesburg (or include name and address of your preferred branch, e.g. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Ladysmith, Bredasdorp or Pietermaritzburg), the receipt of whose Treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of the said Society shall constitute a sufficient discharge to my Trustees.”|
2. Restricted Legacy
|You may wish to leave a legacy to a particular Animal Anti-Cruelty League campaign, for example Education, in which case the wording should be as follows:
“I give to the Welfare Organisation called the Animal Anti-Cruelty League National Body of 59 Alice Street, Regents Park, Johannesburg (or include name and address of your preferred branch, e.g. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Ladysmith, Bredasdorp or Pietermaritzburg), the sum of R ________ /(residue clause), for its Education Campaign Fund, but in the event that fund is no longer in existence or has ceased to operate then for the Society’s general purposes and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of the said Society shall constitute a sufficient discharge to my Trustees.”
3. Pecuniary Legacy
|“I give to the Welfare Organisation called the Animal Anti-Cruelty League National Body of 59 Alice Street, Regents Park, Johannesburg (or include name and address of your preferred branch, e.g. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Ladysmith, Bredasdorp or Pietermaritzburg), the sum of R ________, and declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of the said Society shall constitute a sufficient discharge to my Trustees.”|
4. If you are leaving your home in your Will
|“I give to the Welfare Organisation called the Animal Anti-Cruelty League National Body of 59 Alice Street, Regents Park, Johannesburg (or include name and address of your preferred branch, e.g. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Ladysmith, Bredasdorp or Pietermaritzburg), all my share and interest in my house known as (insert full address of property here) or other my principal house or flat at my death absolutely and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of the said Society shall constitute a sufficient discharge to my Trustees.”|
Please let us know if you are including the Animal Anti-Cruelty League in your Will
If you do make a bequest to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, we will be delighted and very grateful. No matter how long it is before we receive your legacy, there will still be animals in need of protection, rescue and sanctuary.
If you plan to include the Animal Anti-Cruelty League in your Will, or if you have already done so, it would be a great help if you could let us know. Please could you do so by completing “A Pledge to the future form” (See PDF file below) and mailing it to us.
When we receive your legacy, we will include your name in our Book of Remembrance as a lasting reminder of your generosity.