Leaving a legacy gift or donating to the BMAS

The BMAS is a charity established to stimulate and promote the use and scientific understanding of acupuncture as part of the practice of medicine for the public benefit.  We are committed to the integration of acupuncture as a complementary therapy into the modern NHS.  Above all, the safety and health of the patient is the prime concern of our members.

Making a donation 

Donations to the BMAS are greatly appreciated at any time.  If you would like to donate right now, credit card payments are accepted by telephone at our Northwich office on 01606 786782, or cheques payable to BMAS sent to BMAS House, 2-3 Winnington Court, Northwich CW8 1AQ.  Or simply click here to donate online.

To add value to your gift to the BMAS UK taxpayers can download the GiftAid form which allows the Society to claim back an additional sum from the taxman.  Please return the completed form to our Northwich office.  Download the form here.

Leaving a legacy gift

A legacy gift shows that you are committed to the same objectives as the BMAS and want to see more people benefit from acupuncture. There is only very limited funding for acupuncture in the NHS even though there is mounting evidence of the benefits to patients, particularly those suffering from musculoskeletal or post operative pain.


Some good reasons to leave a legacy gift to the BMAS:

  • Support and training

Most of our members provide acupuncture free to patients and have invested in training and a learning programme to further their knowledge for the benefit of patients. The Society has a programme of post-training support for members and a subsidised teaching clinic in London where members can observe and improve their techniques. Medical students training to be doctors can attend courses at greatly reduced cost. All these services, although funded in part by subscriptions and fees, require financial support from the BMAS.

  • Teaching clinic

A legacy gift will help us to improve and expand our services and thus help more and more patients to benefit from acupuncture. Our London teaching clinic is full and we would like to open another teaching clinic outside London so that we can treat a larger number of patients. Clinic facilities are expensive and need to be staffed by fully trained medical acupuncturists.

  • Spreading the word

Because of limited budgets, we are not able to invest as much as we would like in publicity to the general public and
the medical profession about the benefits of acupuncture. This is a costly exercise. We would like to encourage more
doctors and allied health professionals to learn the technique and spread the word amongst patients.

  • Research

The Society is very aware that good quality research into acupuncture is needed in order for it to gain acceptance in the medical profession. We have already established a fund to initiate small research projects, but need more funds to make a meaningful contribution to research.

I would like to leave a legacy to the BMAS. How do I do it?

There are a number of ways in which you can leave a legacy to the BMAS. You need to consider first whether you already have a will. If you do and you just want to add the BMAS as a beneficiary, then your solicitor can add a new instruction to your executors called a codicil. This is simple and straightforward. If you have no will, and a surprising number of people do not, you are strongly advised to seek professional advice from a solicitor or accountant. This will ensure that your wishes are carried out correctly and are legally binding. There are different types of legacy gift and you will need to decide how you want the BMAS to benefit. This may be for our general work or for a specific purpose. We have provided some options below that you may want to take to your solicitor or accountant when they are drafting your will.

There are four main types of legacy gift:
1. Pecuniary 
A pecuniary legacy is the gift of a specified amount of money. If a will is not updated the value of a pecuniary legacy will decrease over time as the cost of living rises. (So a gift of £100 put in a will in 1984 was worth a lot more then than it is now.)

2. Residuary 
The residue of an estate is the remainder after all the other bequests have been made and all debts paid, before any tax due is paid. Any gift made to a charity, such as BMAS, is free of Inheritance Tax and may help reduce the overall tax burden on the estate. The residue of an estate may be split between more than one beneficiary and it may be shared in any way the legator chooses. An example of a Residuary gift to the BMAS (part of what’s left after all specific gifts)  “I give to the British Medical Acupuncture Society, of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, 60 Great Ormond Street, London WC1, registered charity number 1057942, a x% [this is a percentage that you decide] share of my residuary estate for the general purposes of the Society. I direct that the receipt of the Honorary Treasurer of the Society shall be a sufficient discharge to my Executors.”

3. Specific
A specific bequest is where a named article is left as a gift, for example a piece of jewellery, work of art, or piece of property. There will need to be a clear description in the will so that the Executor knows s/he is giving the right clock,watch, picture, house, etc. to the right person.

4. Reversionary
A reversionary legacy is where you anticipate that something might happen and if it does, then the gift reverts to the residue of the estate or another named beneficiary.  For example, if you think that someone might die before you, you can ensure that the money or specific gift would revert to the main estate. On the other hand, if you wish the item to go instead to a relative of that person should they pre-decease you, then ask your solicitor to make this a conditional clause.

Useful information on Inheritance Tax 

One of the main sources of income for charities is through legacies. If a specific sum is pledged to a charity through a will, the value of the estate is reduced by that amount, cutting the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable on the estate. Members and patients are therefore encouraged to remember the BMAS in their will and potentially save a significant amount of tax in the process. Everyone is allowed to leave a legacy (see http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/iht-thresholds.htm) to his or her beneficiaries free of IHT, but many people have been caught in the IHT net, solely by the value of their home, even where it is held in joint names. As the whole estate above the ‘nil rate’ band is liable to tax, it is essential to use your tax-free allowance effectively and then plan for any tax payable on the surplus.

There are legitimate ways to avoid IHT and significant tax savings can be achieved through timely action and the advice of a tax expert.

Thank you!