Gifts in Wills to organisations such as hospitals, universities and churches can be maximised if the right advice is taken, according to Thursfields Solicitors.

The comments come after reports about how a farmer left more than £1 million to his local hospital to help people with cancer.

Katherine Ellis, a Senior Associate Solicitor at Thursfields’ Kidderminster office, said that Douglas de Bootman’s bequest to Cromer Hospital in Norfolk is typical of the growing number of generous legacies people are leaving to institutions they feel have helped them.

She said: “Income from legacies can be crucial to hospitals, universities and churches and here at Thursfields we understand how important it is for those organisations to properly handle what can be a very technical area of the law.

It is imperative that they secure accurate advice if they are to maximize the gift generously left to them, as the testator would want them to do, whilst also balancing any reputational risks.”

Katherine explained that Thursfields can assist with a broad range of issues including:

  • Legacy administration, for example the sale of assets and the appropriation of property and investments, and applications to the Probate Registry where needed.
  • Legacy management services, including advice on procedures, processes and system reviews to maximise legacy income.
  • In-house staff training and support for organisations’ fundraising or legacy team employees and volunteers.

Katherine, who before joining Thursfields worked in-house on legacy issues for a large national charity, added: “Thursfields has the skills and experience to help any organisation deal with the growing trend of legacy giving.

“This includes specialist expertise with regard to the full range of legacy administration issues, and a proven track record of resolving complex Will disputes in favour of not-for-profit organisations, whilst also ensuring they avoid any adverse publicity.”

Anyone wanting to discuss a legacy matter can contact Katherine Ellis on 0121 647 5419, extension 5419, or at kellis@thursfields.co.uk.

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