Our Wills and Probate Solicitor, Andrew Milburn, answers questions on leaving a gift to charity in your will.

 | What are the benefits of leaving a gift to charity in your will?

As well as benefitting your chosen charity, you can also reduce or remove inheritance tax liabilities. Gifts to charities are exempt from inheritance tax. In addition, if you leave at least 10% of your estate to charity, the rate of inheritance charges reduces from 40% to 36%.

| What are the different types of legacy you can leave to a charity?

There are few different types of charitable gifts you can leave to charity;

  1. A sum of money
  2. A specific item(s)
  3. A share of an overall estate
  4. Or leave the residue to charity. (The residue is everything which is left of the estate after all the legacies, expenses, tax and funeral expenses have been paid.)

| Can you leave your entire estate to a charity? Can this be disrupted?

There is always a possibility that someone may make a claim against the estate or challenge the will. It would be down to the charity to decide if they want to defend it. This isn’t really affected by the fact charities are included, it’s more about who the testator has excluded.

Always make sure that you have your will professionally-prepared by a solicitor who specialises in will drafting. This can make it much more difficult for someone to make a successful challenge.

| How is your donation passed onto your chosen charity after your death?

It is the role of your chosen executors to ensure that the estate is administered as per your wishes. Therefore, they will ensure that certain checks are carried out. So, the money is released to the correct charity and that they receive an appropriate receipt.

| How can a solicitor help you include a donation to a charity in your will and ensure your wishes are carried out?

There are a few ways a solicitor can help you;

  1. Ensuring that the charity is correctly referred to in the will.
  2. Confirming that the will is valid and that you have taken all possible steps to protect against future challenges.
  3. Advising you about your current inheritance tax position and how any charitable gifts will affect this.

If you would like some more information about leaving a gift to charity in your will, we can help. Call us on 0800 988 7756 for a FREE initial chat.