A guide to Wills and Bequests

The purpose of this guide is to explain

The different ways in which legacies might be made to the Company of Watermen and Lightermen or its charities.

  • Some of the terms used in preparation of Wills
  • The benefit to the Company or its Charities and to the donor.

Of course even though you might have a current Will, it is always worth updating it to keep pace with-

  • Changed circumstances
  • Changes in inheritance Tax rules, relating to both the individual and the Company or its Charities.

Priorities in making your Will
Clearly family and other dependants come first but the Company is suggesting to all Freemen that a legacy of £10,000 ought to allow the interests of dependants to be protected. Of course if you wish
you can give more or less.
It is the Company that would benefit most from a legacy but you will want to ensure that your gift is used wisely. The Company has set up a Benefactors’ Fund where the capital received will be retained and only the income used for projects like the restoration of Watermen’s Hall or restoring its historic art and treasures so that they can be
enjoyed by future generations. Alternatively you can leave a gift to the Watermen’s Company Charity which would reduce any inheritance tax (Charity Number 1086890).

There are 4 main ways to give:
• A Specific legacy of a sum of money or an item of value (e.g. a picture).
• A Residuary Legacy specifying a portion of the residue of your estate after expenses and specific legacies are paid.
• A Conditional Legacy which might be dependent on a preferred beneficiary failing  to survive you.
• Life Assurance where the Company is the beneficiary.

Making a Pledge
When you decide to leave a legacy we would be most grateful if you could let us know by pledging. In return unless you wish to remain anonymous, the Company will recognise your pledge with a pin that
you may choose to wear. Each year there will be a Benefactors’ Lunch to which you will be invited and recognised by a toast to our Benefactors.

A form of Codicil adding a legacy to an existing Will
“I (your name) of (your full address) declare this to be the first (or second e.t.c.) Codicil to my Will dated and made the (date of your Will).
In addition to the legacies given by my said Will I give the following further legacy absolutely to the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames (or the Watermen’s Company
Charity Number 1086890) for the general purposes of the Company (or the Charity) and I direct that the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer or other authorised official for the time being shall be
good and sufficient discharge to my Executors for the payment to the Company (or the Charity).
In all other respects I confirm my said Will.”
Note: a codicil needs to be separately signed, dated and witnessed by two independent witnesses present at the time you sign as for a Will in its own rigbt.

The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, 16 - 18 St-Mary-at-Hill, London, EC3R 8EF

© 2019 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen