Legacy Q&A with our Treasurer, Frances Mullan

Today, we’re catching up with one of our amazing Trustees, Frances Mullan. Frances has been Venture Scotland’s Treasurer since 2020 and is an active volunteer on our Journey programme. This #FreeWillsMonth, we’ve been chatting to Frances about why she decided to leave a legacy to Venture Scotland.  🌱

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi, I’m Frances Mullan. I am the current treasurer for Venture Scotland and was also a volunteer back in the early days of the organisation. Growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles shaped my experience and my commitment to volunteering with charities providing opportunities for young people. I have lived in Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders ever since attending University here, apart from a brief stint in London.   

My career was in investment management. Now I want to use my skills and build my understanding of the challenges for the voluntary sector. I recently completed a Master’s in Charity Finance. 

What promoted you to write your first Will?  

Two events motivated me to write a Will. First, the sad loss of my brother brought home my own mortality. He was just a few years older than me and it was a stark reminder that life is finite. Second, my pension is starting this year and that has prompted me to plan my personal finances.

60% of adults in the UK don’t have a Will; and, of those that do, only 7% choose to support a charity. Why do you think it’s important to remember a charity when updating your Will?

We can’t be buried like a pharaoh surrounded by treasure. Not that I have treasure! I think we all have a responsibility to our family or our executors to plan properly. In this process I have considered what I think I need to have a decent lifestyle, how I want to help my family and then the causes I care about. 

I have done some research and learned that I have options for a legacy. I can leave a specific amount to Venture Scotland or make a residual gift of what is left after family inheritance. A legacy to charity gets relief against any inheritance tax payable; not only making a positive impact for Venture Scotland, and the young people we support, but also for my family too. 

Another option for any higher rate tax payers, would be through Foundation Scotland’s programme for a Donor Advised Fund. This has two benefits for my family, with income tax relief via gift aid and access to Foundation Scotland’s positive impact investment policy. You can find out more about Donor Advised Funds here. (Set up your own fund | Foundation Scotland)

What made you choose to support Venture Scotland in this way? 

Often people cite not being financially able to make a large contribution in their lifetime, but through their will, they can make a larger difference.

I find it frustrating that Venture Scotland struggles to fund their programme despite evidence that shows the positive change that the VS journey makes for young people. There is a limit to how much anyone can give when you have a mortgage and bills to pay. A legacy for me is the solution to making best use of money that I know I don’t need. 

How does leaving a legacy to Venture Scotland make you feel?

Charlie Munger, a legend in my investment industry, is quoted as saying, “All I want to know is where I am going to die, so I’ll never go there.”  Just in case I happen to “go there” at least I feel calm that I have made a Will and feel satisfied that my legacy to Venture Scotland is making a difference. 

If someone was thinking about supporting Venture Scotland by leaving a gift in their Will what would you tell them?

Just do it and then relax. It doesn’t matter how much or how little, as Treasurer I know that every £ is put to good use. If you have any doubts read a Young Person’s Journey on the website. 

Venture Scotland sees the outdoors as the vehicle for personal development and social, emotional and wellbeing growth – what do the outdoors mean to you?

I grew up on a farm. At the time I didn’t realise what a gift it was to be surrounded by the great outdoors. For me, there is nothing more relaxing than being somewhere that all you can hear is the sound of a river. 

If you could only take part in one more Venture Scotland outdoor activity what would it be?

I just went stand-up-paddle boarding in Fife in February and it was surprisingly good fun! The group were fab and very encouraging despite my reluctance to get in the cold lough water.  I would love to go back with a VS group to mess about on the big paddle board on a sunny summer day.