Do I have to leave a charitable donation in my Will?
Posted on 23rd December 2019
According to an article published on 12th December by todayswillsandprobate.co.uk, leaving a legacy in Wills is now the top of the agenda for Wills writers, such as your local solicitors for Wills at MG Legal.
Apparently, over two thirds of solicitors (and Will writers, who are generally, not fully legally qualified, according to moneyadviceservice.org.uk now initiate a conversation with their clients, about leaving a gift of money, or a percentage of their estate, to a charity in their Wills.
The research, commissioned by Charity Consortium, revealed that 68% of solicitors and will writers always, or sometimes ‘proactively’ discuss the subject to legacy-leaving with clients, an increase of 10% since similar figures were checked in 2012. Additionally, only 7% now say that they never bring up the conversation of charitable legacies with their clients, which is a decreased of 9% from 2012.
Charities often implore people to ‘Remember a Charity in your Will’, as the Campaign from September 2019 was named, and they always seem to be trying to change people’s perception of leaving a charitable gift.
Whilst our team of local solicitors for Wills haven’t collated their own figures, they can comment that lots of their clients at least consider the prospect of including a charity, and they know that, when dealing with the administration of an estate, the charities are infinitely grateful at having been thought of when they are left a legacy – no matter what the amount.
So, what are the benefits of leaving a legacy to a charity in your Will?
Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not you decide to leave a gift to a charity, or charities, in your Will. However, our team would like to discuss some of the benefits.
1. If your estate is above a certain amount, it may mean that you get some tax relief. Now, we’re not going to delve into the specifics of how the tax relief works, but it’s important to understand that you may be entitled to some inheritance tax relief if you leave charitable donations; it’s important to speak to your local wills solicitors about whether this could help you before making any decisions based on tax relief.
2. If you feel that a charity could benefit from your donation, then the chances are they will! You can specify a purpose for the gift in your Will, and request that the charity only uses it for that specific reason. For example, our Hope Jordan loves animals. If she decided to leave her estate to an animal charity, such as the RSPCA or Dogs Trust or Blue Cross, then she may wish to state that the money should be used for rehoming abused animals – the charity would then usually apply this money for this specific purpose.
3. If you cannot afford to make the contributions throughout your lifetime, for example if your money is all tied up in your property, you may decide that leaving a gift on your death is the best way forward (rather than selling your house and making the donation throughout your lifetime).
There are plenty of other potential more personal reasons to individuals as to why they would wish to make a charitable gift in their Wills, however they are just that: personal to you. You don’t have to explain to our local Wills solicitors’ team why you want to make the gift, just letting us know that you want to is enough.
And, if you don’t feel like your estate is high enough to make a gift at this time, you can always leave a percentage of your estate to a charity, and then the gift they receive is in proportion to the rest of your estate, that you may be leaving to family and friends.
Our team are not saying that it’s always beneficial to our clients to leave a gift; it can depend on your circumstances, and what your estate is worth, and how you are leaving it, so it’s important to seek expert advice from us before you decide about making any gifts.
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