There are a number of ways you can support our work. Every donation helps, and if you are a taxpayer we can claim Gift Aid on top. If you donate through our JustGiving accountthe Gift Aid can be claimed automatically. 

Become a Member

ACT’s members support the charity with a £10 subscription each year, or £250 life membership. Members meet each autumn to elect ACT’s Trustees. Above all they are amazing at  spreading the word, telling actor-parents about our support. We would love to welcome you as a member of ACT.  There will be a special payment portal here later in 2019, but in the meantime please contact  robert@actorschildren.org

Donate

If you would like to donate on a one-off or monthly basis, please do so via our JustGiving account 

Publicise

Please help us reach more actor-parents. If you are an actor, please ask your agent to email all their clients with information on ACT’s grants. Always tell other actors about ACT. Can you ask a performance or rehearsal venue to display ACT publicity where actors will see it?  Thank you.

Run a Marathon !

ACT is proud of its courageous runners. This year’s amazing team in the London Marathon is:

Alison Langer, Graeme Brookes, Sam Bond, Philip Large (an ACT trustee), Jake Davies, Nicholas Wallis, Gergely Vizvari and Rob Stevenson.

You will find them on JustGiving.

Gifts in Wills

If you are considering leaving us a gift in your Will – thank you!  It is so easy.

To leave us a gift in your Will here is the information you need for your solicitor or person drafting your Will:

Actors’ Children’s Trust

Registered Charity Number: 1177106

Your adviser can agree the words and type of gift which suits your circumstances

The most usual gifts are:

  • A sum of money which can be any sum of money which suits your circumstances

The other type of gift is one which is

  • a percentage of what you are worth – formally it is called a residuary gift. It can be 1% to 100% of your “estate” – again whatever suits your own circumstances. Just 1% will help future generations of parent-actors and their children.

Sometimes people like to leave a specific gift.

  • If you have an item (called a specific gift) you want to leave us, please call Robert Ashby to discuss this. It is normal for a charity to maintain the right to sell the gift if it cannot be used for a good purpose.

Finally

  • A contingent gift: a gift in your Will that depends upon the occurrence of an event which may or may not happen is known legally as a contingent bequest. An example is a gift to a charity which applies only if other beneficiaries named in the Will die before the testator (person who made the Will).

If you already have a Will and would like to change it, you can use a codicil but nowadays it is just as easy for your solicitor to adapt an existing one.

Our promises for gifts in Wills

We fully recognise this is a private gift and that your circumstances might change in the future.

To reassure you that we value highly the private method of this way of supporting out work we have developed the following promises:

  • We will not put pressure on you to give a gift in your Will – it is your decision.
  • We will never ask you the size or type of gift if you decide to support our work this way.
  • We absolutely recognise those closest to you come first in your Will.
  • You never have to tell us your intentions – we respect your right to privacy
  • We fully understand that personal circumstances change and there might be a time when you must take ACT out of your Will
  • We promise to use your gift wisely.
  • If you want your gift used in a special way please contact us.

If you want to tell us about your gift it does enable us to say thank you which we like to do!

ACT is not allowed to give legal advice but if you want to discuss your gift you are very welcome to contact Robert.

Tax savings

Inheritance tax is complicated, but it is surprisingly easy to avoid paying it or reducing the amount payable! It is likely that for every £1000 you leave us, your estate would save £400 inheritance tax but please take professional advice.

The advice below is not legal advice but giving you an overview of some important issues, which might be relevant to you and other family members. Please take legal advice from a solicitor if you consider any of the above would help you and other family members 

Letter of Wishes

A Letter of Wishes is a document that accompanies your Will. It is not legally binding but can guide your executors (and appointed trustees if you have them) to ensure your personal wishes are carried out. It gives you great flexibility to meet your current wishes without the need for expensive future changes to your Will.

You must take care that a Letter of Wishes does not contain anything that could conflict with the Will. The Letter can advise on anything, but most common uses include:

  • Any charities you would like to benefit (giving the Executors the final choice of fulfilling your wish, or not, depending on whether there are enough assets for other beneficiaries).
  • A list of your assets, including bank accounts, investments, insurances, provenance notes relating to expensive items, the location of jewellery or other at risk items, the location of passports and other legal documents.
  • Who to notify of your death, or in some cases, who not to tell!
  • The style of funeral you want, whether you want burial or cremation, and any specific instructions regarding the service, where you would like to be buried or have your ashes sprinkled.
  • Whether you would like flowers or donations in memory of a loved one to charity of your choice such as ACT.
  • Guiding your executors or trustees on how you would like any money managed, or trusts created in your Will to be run. This can be important if you have children aged under 18.
  • Suggesting guardians for your children and how you would like your children to be raised, their upbringing, education, and where they live. These details should be reviewed as the children grow up.
  • Giving more detailed information to help your executors identify specific items you are giving away in your Will.
  • Providing explanations as to why you have excluded someone from the Will, if you think that it may be a controversial decision or challenged later.

A Letter of Wishes should be written in plain English, signed and dated, but not witnessed to avoid any claim that it has become a legal Will or codicil.

This document is suitable for people who live in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Discretionary Trusts and why they can be important

A discretionary trust is a legal arrangement which allows you to set aside assets, such as property and money, for the benefit of people you choose as ‘beneficiaries’ (especially children with special needs) and the trust is controlled by trustees whom you appoint. In the event of the death, the trustees have a legal responsibility to use the trust fund to benefit the chosen beneficiaries – which can be family members (or other individuals) or a charity.

If you are caring for someone with special needs including autism, dyslexia dementia and mental or physical health needs, you might be worried about how they are cared for after you die. By setting up a discretionary trust, the money from this will be used to care for your family member as your appointed trustees will act in their best interests. Importantly, having money in a trust fund allows the trustees to have quick access to the funds and they can start paying for care immediately after your death. Leaving money directly to your family member in the form of a gift in your will can affect any benefits they are entitled to from the State, a discretionary trust ensures that your family member is mean tested benefits are not affected as they do not have a defined share in the trust and cannot be said to own any part of it.

Depending on the type of trust you use, there may also be tax implications after your death. Sometimes there can be tax savings! You should discuss this with your solicitor.

Choosing your trustees

Trustees can be professionals, such as solicitors or accountants who will charge for their services, or they could be friends or family members. It is advisable to have more than one trustee, but not more than four as trustees will need to meet and agree on all decisions.

The cost of a discretionary trust

A discretionary trust is a legal arrangement and you should ask your solicitor to produce it for you. The rates charged by different solicitors for this type of service may vary, although it usually costs between £200-£500. The Law Society has a list of all solicitors in the UK and the areas they specialise in.

What happens to the trust after the death of the beneficiary?

You get to decide what happens. You can, for example, direct that your trustees split any money left over equally between the other beneficiaries that are still alive. Or you can give any balance to charity: it is completely up to you.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Your professional adviser can also draft Lasting Powers of Attorney. There are two lasting powers of attorney – one for financial decisions and another for health and care decisions.  But they can be invaluable for you, your children and elderly relatives who are not in a position to manage their own affairs. Again, it is important to take professional advice to make sure they are phrased to suit the needs of your whole family.  Different arrangements apply in Northern Ireland

Legal disclaimer

This information is guidance, not legal advice. Always contact a solicitor or legal professional before including a trust in your will.

Here on behalf of somebody else?

We understand it is a big step to contact a charity. If you are looking at this on behalf of an actor friend, please do get in touch by phone or email. There is no need to tell us the actor’s name at this stage. We are friendly and our help is confidential.

Read more about who we are or get in touch for help and support, email robert@actorschildren.org or call 020 7636 7868.