£6 million legacy to RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI) is to receive £6 million through the Will of a lady who avidly supported their work. Barbara Morrell died at age 95 in 2009 leaving the legacy to the charity so that it could purchase a new lifeboat for Kent. The boat, a newly designed Shannon-class, has been named ‘The Morrell’.
 
Charities rely heavily on legacies in Wills. It is estimated that in 2009 just under £2 billion was donated to charity in people’s Wills. It has been reported that the RNLI derives over half its income from such bequests. Sue Fernley, Income and Legacy Manager for the RNLI, said “This is a particularly generous gift for which we are truly grateful – as we are for all legacy gifts – no matter how large or small – whether they help towards a boat or protective boots – they all help our volunteer crews and lifeguards stay as safe as possible while saving lives."
 
The Executor of Mrs Morrell’s estate, Jackie Simmons, commented "Barbara would have been overjoyed to know that her home county will benefit from her gift. She was an avid fan of the RNLI's lifesaving work."
 
Charitable legacies can take the form of a specific amount or percentage or the entire residues of an estate. Charities have been involved in high profile cases where disputes over the validity of a Will in which money was left to them have arisen. In 2010, in the case of Gill v RSPA, the RSPCA lost its appeal to uphold a Will in which it was left a £2 million estate.
 
To avoid a challenge to the Will, people should only instruct a properly qualified solicitor to draft their Wills.