Rebekah Hillman LLB(Hons) is the brains behind the idea. She is a legal consultant who specialises in wills and probate who through the course of her working life has become increasingly involved with Charities. It was whilst at a conference focussed on the importance of legacy to the UK’s Charity sector that the Benevolent Wills idea was born.
As time has passed the idea has become a reality and we have a team of individuals dedicated to helping you give to charity whilst preparing one of the most important documents you will ever need – A professionally written and properly constructed Will.
We have a network of Will Writers and Solicitors nationwide. All of whom understand and buy into the charitable context within which we work and all of whom are members of at least one will writing professional body
Community Interest Companies (CICS) are limited companies, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage.
This is achieved by a "community interest test" and "asset lock", which ensure that the CIC is established for community purposes and the assets and profits are dedicated to these purposes.
Registration of a company as a CIC has to be approved by the Regulator who also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role
CICs have to follow specific rules, including the following:
- CICs must have an asset lock. This means that the company cannot generally transfer its profits or assets for less than their full market value except as permitted by regulation. It will also protect any remaining assets for the community if you dissolve the CIC.
- If you set up your CIC as a company limited by shares, you'll have the option of issuing sharesthat pay a capped dividend to investors. The cap is set by the CIC Regulator to protect the asset lock.
- Together with your annual accounts, you must present an annual community interest company report for public record. The report must show what the CIC has done during the year to pursue its pre-specified community interest and involve the individuals or groups with a particular interest in the CIC.
Community interest is the heart of the CIC and the community interest test is what differentiates CICs from other not-for-profit organisations.
To become a CIC, an organisation needs to satisfy the regulator that its purposes could be regarded by a reasonable person as being in the community or wider public interest. It will also be asked to confirm that access to the benefits it provides will not be confined to an unduly restricted group.
The Asset Lock is a fundamental feature of CICs.
“Asset Lock” is a general term used to cover all the provisions designed to ensure that the assets of the CIC (including any profits or other surpluses generated by its activities) are used for the benefit of the community.
The transfer of any assets must satisfy certain requirements. This means that, subject to the CIC meeting its obligations, its assets must either be retained within the CIC to be used for the community purposes for which it was formed, or, if they are transferred out of the CIC, the transfer must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:
- It is made for full consideration (i.e. at market value), so that the CIC retains the value of the assets transferred;
- It is made to another asset locked body (a CIC or charity, or non-GB based equivalent) which is specified in the CIC's memorandum or articles of association;
- It is made to another asset locked body with the consent of the Regulator; or It is otherwise made for the benefit of the community.
Provision to this effect, as prescribed in the Regulations, must be included in a CIC's memorandum or articles of association. CICs are permitted to adopt asset lock rules that impose more stringent requirements, provided they also include these basic provisions.
The asset lock is established in legislation, and will prohibit CICs from distributing their assets or profits to their members, except to the extent permitted where CICs issue equity.
The lock will not prevent CICs from using their assets efficiently in pursuit of community benefit; for instance, they will be able to use assets as collateral for finance. The regulator will be responsible for ensuring that the asset lock is maintained, and stakeholders who believe that it is being breached will be able to ask the regulator to take action.
CICs will report annually to an independent regulator on how they are delivering for the community and how they are involving their stakeholders in their activities.
The purpose of Benevolent Wills is three-fold
- To give people a cheap and professionally written online Will if that is appropriate
- To give advice in relation to writing a Will and help people write the most suitable Will for their needs
- To enable people to easily give to charitable causes as part of their Will should they wish to do so
Our purpose is not to make lots of money it is to genuinely help and support charities in terms of their lifeblood – donation. And to help and support the general population in relation to what we believe is one of the most important pieces of paper you will ever write – your Will.
We have been set up as a Community Interest Company as that enables us to give our profits to charitable causes cost effectively and provides regulation that holds us to task in this regard.
As a Community Interest Company we are regulated and monitored and have to provide certain information that supports our status as a CIC.
We have also decided to take this one step further and publish quarterly accounts so that our activities and plans are entirely transparent.
We have gone through a community Interest test , we must have an asset lock in place and must provide annual reports that clearly demonstrate our activities in terms of our mandate in relation to social enterprise