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Wills & Legacies Leaving a Gift in Your Will

Leaving a Gift in Your Will

Dorset County Hospital was established in 1840 through the gifts and legacies of many generous donors.  The original building in Princes Street, Dorchester was built on donated land and in 1856 George Bankes, MP left £500 to the hospital in his will to build a new wing (worth over £0.5m today).  Over the years people have remembered Dorset County Hospital in their wills. These donations have varied in size but they have all had an impact on the treatment of patients in the hospital.  This is an uncomplicated and lasting way to help and it does not cost you anything in your lifetime. But like an oak seedling it can grow to have an enormous impact on the future lives of people in West Dorset. Leaving a gift in your Will is one of the most significant and meaningful ways to show your support. It's a wonderful way to ensure that we can continue our vital work, and can also be a valuable way of reducing inheritance-tax liability on your estate, because legacies to a registered charity are tax-free.

Your solicitor will be able to advise you of how to Make a Will, or add a codicil to your existing Will.

An unrestricted gift from you gives the Charity the ability to direct resources to the Hospital where the need is most urgent and where the opportunities are greatest. However, you would be most welcome to discuss with us any specific ways in which you would like your legacy to be used as a legacy gift may also be created for a "restricted" purpose. For example gifts can be designated to help support one of our restricted funds listed below:

  • Children's Services Fund
  • Special Care Baby Unit
  • Renal Fund
  • Cancer Services Fund
  • Arts in Hospital
  • Stroke
  • Cardiology 

Types of Legacies:

There are a number of different kinds of legacies; the most common of these are described below:

Pecuniary legacy - this is a specified sum of money. In order to leave a pecuniary bequest you must state the exact figure in your will.

Residuary legacy - this is a percentage of the remainder of your estate once the needs of your family have been met and the executors have made all the outgoing payments and other legacies or bequests.

Specific legacy - this is when you leave someone a specified item of value, such as a painting, a piece of jewellery or property or shares. You should ensure that this item is adequately described in your will to avoid any confusion.

By naming the Hospital in your will, trust or estate plans, you will help create a legacy for the future of healthcare for the communities and patients the hospital serves. If you are considering a specific designation for your gift or want to discuss other gift options, we would be pleased to work with you and your advisor to ensure your wishes are carried out. For further information please speak to Simon Pearson, Head of Fundraising on 01305 253470.

We would like to be able to thank you and so please do let us know if you have planned to leave us a gift in your will by emailing the Head of Fundraising if you are happy to do so (

Naming Opportunities

Gifts such as these allow benefactors to personally name their gift or to do so in memory of a loved one or someone they respect. One of the best charitable traditions is "naming". We would be proud to recognize the generosity of any current donor through naming appropriate areas and facilities, endowments, and programs in honour of them.

It is important to keep in mind the healthcare we have today is better due to yesterday's philanthropists. Providing a named gift is one of the few things you can do that will outlast your lifetime. We would be delighted to talk with you about any possibilities. For more information please speak to Simon Pearson, our Head of Fundraising on 01305 253470.