ISSUE 9, April 2004

Editorial
The Duke of Wellington: A Brother in arms
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Life with the Stars: Masons and famous people
Hall Stone Jewel: Cyril Spackman, designer
Travel: Jamaica
Grand Charity: Annual Report and Accounts
Masonic stamps: Masonry on stamps
Library & Museum of Freemasonry: Antients and Moderns go on-line
Masonic education: Events for Freemasons
Masonic charities: The continuing work
Bowel cancer: How the Grand Charity is helping
Royal Arch: Russia and Eastern Europe
Letters
Richard Eve: A former Grand Treasurer
Book reviews
Gardening

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What?
It does not necessarily have to be a sum of money. You can choose to specify any item of value such as jewellery, a property or shares. You may prefer to specify a percentage of the value of your estate or to instruct that the ‘residue’ (what’s left after you have provided for friends and family) is donated to one or more charities.

When?
It is never too soon to write a Will. Changes can easily be made at any future date should your personal or family circumstances change.

How?
A Will is probably one of the most important documents that you will sign in your life, and therefore you are strongly advised to take professional advice. However, you can save both time and money by being prepared in advance.
      Identify all your property and possessions. Attempt to put an overall value on your home, savings, investments, jewellery, valuables etc.
      Identify who you want to remember through your Will. The security of those closest to you will be of paramount concern. Make a list of their names and addresses for your solicitor. If you wish to include a gift to a charity include their name, address and registered number as well.
      Identify what you want your Will to achieve. This will depend on your personal circumstances, but you may wish to consider providing funds for those who depend on you, reducing the burden of tax on your estate and gifts to one or more charities.
      The continuing work of the four Masonic Craft Charities is dependent on legacy income for a significant percentage of their annual distributions. They are all pledged to the long term support of Freemasons, their wives, widows and other dependants.
      If you would like to ensure that the support you have generously given during your lifetime continues after your death for the benefit of others within the Masonic family, please include a gift in your Will to one or more of the four Craft charities.
      Further details are available on request, or via each Charity’s information leaflets or websites, which will help to make it easier for you to write or amend your Will.
      If having read this article you are still unsure about the benefit of leaving a charitable gift in your Will to a Masonic charity, you might wish to remember that statistically the average life expectancy in the UK is currently 69.
      However, this is apparently miraculously extended to 79 for those who write a Will! The same research source claims that for those who have included a charitable bequest within their Will, life expectancy increases still further to, an average of 82.
      Seriously though, remembering a charity in your Will will not only make you feel better, but can also help you to live longer!

Remembering the Charities

A Residuary Legacy:
This is often the best way of helping a Charity, whereby the remainder of your estate, after all bequests to family and friends have been settled, is left to Charity:

“I give to name, full address and registered number of Charity all (or …… share) of the residue of my estate for the general purposes of the Charity and I declare that the receipt of the Chief Executive or other proper officer of the Charity shall be a good discharge for the same.”

A Specific Legacy:
A fixed sum of money, a property or other specific gift:

“I give to name, full address and registered number of Charity *…………* for the general purposes of the Charity and I declare that the receipt of the Chief Executive or other proper officer of the Charity shall be a good discharge for the same.”

*……* Insert here the sum of £…… (repeat in words) or describe the items bequeathed. In case of a property please include the full address.

A Conditional Bequest:
Where you leave something to a relative or friend, but provide that if he or she dies before you, that gift goes to a nominated Charity:

“Provided that, if my said brother/sister/ daughter, should pre-decease me, I wish his/her legacy of ……………………… to go to name, full address and registered number of Charity all (or …… share) for the general purposes of the Charity and I declare that the receipt of the Chief Executive or other proper officer of the Charity shall be a good discharge for the same.”
Testimonials

Testimonial 1
“All Freemasons can be justly proud that such charitable giving concerns not only our own kind, but is directed at projects likely to affect all of us, whatever our beliefsand misfortunes. The Grand Charity and the other Masonic charities, certainly lead the way for a vast army of charitablyminded individuals, and I hope I shall not be alone in promising to remember them when I come to making a Will.”

Testimonial 2
“How can I ever thank you enough for receiving such wonderful news, matter of fact I am still in a daze and wonder at times if it is all a dream. I have little money available to make a donation, but I shall be more than pleased to inform my solicitor that I wish to make a substantial donation to the New Masonic Samaritan Fund in my Will.”

Testimonial 3
“My dear Husband has recently passed away following several wonderful years which we have both had, receiving dignified care by your dedicated staff at the home near Reading. I wanted to write to you to thank all concerned and to let you know that his quality of life, at the home, was enhanced during his difficult illness by the kind and loving staff who work there. I am now continuing to enjoy the benefits of living here. When my time comes, you may rest assured that in my will there is a large donation to the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution so that your good work can continue to help others less fortunate than me.”

Testimonial 4
“My late husband benefited so much from Masonic Charity throughout his life, particularly when he attended the boys’ school at Bushey as a teenager. I was delighted when he decided to remember the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys in his Will. Under the terms of his ‘reversionary’ bequest, upon my death, your charity will benefit from the proceeds of his share of the marital home. I have yet to prepare my own will, but may well make a similar gesture in his memory.”