Your Legacy

Ensuring your love of animals counts ... now and forever

Your Legacy

Oak Tree's Guide to Leaving a Gift in Your Will 

Supporters of Oak Tree Animals' Charity have been helping animals since 1909. The continued work of the charity has been largely possible due to gifts generously left in Wills.

Thank you for taking the time to consider leaving a legacy to Oak Tree in your Will. Read on for more information on types of legacy and why they are so important to us or skip straight to ‘How to Leave a Legacy to Oak Tree’ at the bottom of the page. 


Why legacies are so vital to the animals of Oak Tree

After many years of hard work and campaigning for animal welfare, which included a move from the south of the country to the north, our charity officially opened its doors at Oak Tree Farm in 1982 - a feat only made possible by generous gifts through Wills. Further developments on site were also only achievable due to gifts left in Wills, and this remains the case today. 

All donations, regardless of size, provide a lifeline to the animals at Oak Tree. More than half of the work carried out at Oak Tree is paid for by legacy gifts. Put another way, two out of three meals given to the animals in our care are provided through gifts in Wills. 


Choosing to leave a gift in your will is an exceptionally personal way for you to help

Barbara Kuss, explains her generous decision to leave a legacy to Oak Tree:

"My lifelong love for animals and the knowledge that my gift will help support and rehome unwanted animals at Oak Tree Animals' Charity in the future gives me a great sense of happiness. I wish more people would support animals charities like Oak Tree and be part of their incredible work. I want to help Oak Tree Animals' Charity continue its wonderful work for many years to come. It is comforting knowing that I will still be able to support animals long after I am gone." 


How your legacy will help animals at Oak Tree:

More than 85 pence of every £1 donated is spent directly caring for animals. There are all sorts of costs associated with running Oak Tree which include veterinary treatment, food, enrichment, utilities, bedding and general maintenance plus many other expenses.


Questions you may have about writing your will:

… When is the right time to make a will?

The short answer is - now. If you die without a will, your loved ones will have no say in what happens to your property and possessions. How your estate is divided up and which of your family or remoter relatives will benefit is set out by Law if you don’t make a will and those you care about could inherit nothing.

If you already have a will but your circumstances have changed significantly since writing, (you may have married, had children, been bereaved, or your assets may have changed in some way), it is especially important to update your Will. Many people are unaware that marriage generally revokes a will which means that your previous will would no longer take effect.

… How do I write a will?

While you can write your own Will, we strongly advise you to seek professional help from either a solicitor or professional will-writing service. All Wills, however straightforward, need to comply with legal requirements and any mistakes could mean that it was not valid.

Either way, if you are choosing to leave Oak Tree a legacy, please see our ‘How to leave your legacy’ section below, for advice on wording to include.                   

… Is leaving a legacy right for me?

That is entirely your decision to make. Legacies are very valuable to us, but leaving one may not be right for you or your particular circumstances and you should consider carefully the amount that you wish to leave. 

If you are determined to leave Oak Tree a legacy, thank you. We only ask that you ensure your loved ones are taken care of first.

… If I decide to leave a legacy to Oak Tree, what happens next?

We are always so indebted to supporters who choose to remember us in this way, and appreciate choosing to leave a gift in your will is an extremely personal decision. If you have remembered Oak Tree Animals’ Charity in your will, we’d really like to hear from you, but we completely understand if you choose not to inform us of your gift. By choosing to tell us of your plans you will help us with future plans for Oak Tree, and it also means we can thank you properly for your gift. Anything you tell us will be confidential and not legally binding.

… The word 'legacy' makes me think 'big'. I want to leave something in my will for Oak Tree but it may not be much.

There is often the misconception that a legacy means a large sum of money. Whilst some legacies can be significant, of course, many people choose to leave much smaller amounts.

All gifts, regardless of size, provide a lifeline to the animals at Oak Tree, and we are grateful for every single donation received. 


Tax Considerations

Legacies made to charities are free from inheritance tax. This means that, if you have an estate that falls into the inheritance tax brackets, you could reduce that tax by leaving a charitable legacy. Ask your solicitor or will writer to tell you if your estate is likely to pay inheritance tax when you die and the rate that would apply.  You can then consider what the difference in tax payable would be if you decided to leave a legacy or share of your estate to us.


Different Types of Legacy: 

The type of gift you may leave will depend on your particular circumstances which you should discuss with your solicitor or will-writer. 

There are three basic types of gifts to choose from:

  • specific (items, such as a ring or a painting),
  • pecuniary (a fixed amount of money)
  • residuary (a percentage of everything you possess after payment of debts and other legacies)

Your solicitor or will-writer may mention a life interest trust which is when you leave something (such as a property) to a named person to enjoy during their life time and after their death you direct that money or property should be paid to someone else including a charity.

Your solicitor or will-writer will go through the options with you and explain the implications of each type of gift on your other beneficiaries and estimate any inheritance tax that may be payable on your death.


How do I go about making a will

If you would like to leave a gift in your will to us to benefit our dogs, cats and horses then we strongly advise that you speak to a solicitor to guarantee that your wishes will be carried out as you intend.

You will need to take the following details with you:

  • Registered charity name: Oak Tree Animals’ Charity
  • Registered address: Oak Tree Farm, Wetheral Shields, Carlisle, CA4 8JA
  • Registered charity number: 1169511 (England and Wales) 

This is an example of the wording for a straight forward cash legacy:

I leave the sum of £         to Oak Tree Animals’ Charity, registered charity number 1169511 (England and Wales) absolutely for its general charitable purposes and I declare that the receipt of the treasurer or other proper officer for the time being shall be a sufficient discharge to my executors and trustees.

If you intend to leave us a share of your residuary estate then you should ask a solicitor or registered will-writer to draft your will for you as the tax implications are not always straight-forward and it is important that you have the correct wording.

If you would like to speak to someone about your gift or to discuss the possibility of leaving a legacy to Oak Tree, please email legacy@oaktreeanimals.org.uk or call to speak to Jo or Sarah on 01228 560082 


Do you need help writing a will?

Please refer to Charity Choice - we are members of this trusted organisation who provide advice on leaving a legacy to charity. They also have a search facility for where to find a solicitor HERE


Your Pet

Oak Tree’s Pet Guardianship Support is a free service offering care for your beloved pet after you die. Please contact us to find out more about this service – it is a great way to be sure that your pet will be looked after if you are no longer here. 

You will need to include a statement in your will to ensure your wishes are met, so if you are considering making or changing your will to leave us a gift then you could deal with the arrangements about your pet at the same time.


Information for Executors

If you are looking to make a payment from a will, please contact our Finance Team on 01228 560082 or email finance@oaktreeanimals.org.uk 


Thank you for your support.

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