We participated in on Twitter this morning, answering questions about how solicitors can help you include a gift to charity in your will. Andrew Milburn from our Wills and Probate team was on hand to answer the questions. If you were not able to follow the chat live, we set our answers out below:

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

As well as benefiting your chosen charity, you can also reduce or remove inheritance tax liabilities as gifts to charities are exempt from inheritance tax. Also, if you leave at least 10% of your estate to charity, the rate of inheritance tax charged reduces from 40% to 36%.

2. What types of gift can you leave to charity in your will?

There are a few ways that you can leave a gift including:

  1. A specific item or items (this could be anything!)
  2. a set amount of money, or
  3. a share of your overall estate.

3. Can you specify in your will how you wish a charity to use a specific gift?

You can, but this is something that you need to be careful about. Such requests are generally best left as a non-binding ‘wish’. By doing this you aren’t imposing any obligation on your executors to ensure the gift is being used for the intended purpose.

4. What happens if your gift to charity is challenged? Is there any way to avoid this happening?

This would result in an estate dispute and it would be down to the charity to decide whether they wanted to defend the claim. Make sure that the will is professionally made by a solicitor who specialises in will drafting. By doing so it can make it much more difficult for a successful challenge to be made.

5. Do donations to charities outside the UK differ?

Only gifts to UK, EU, Norwegian, Icelandic and Liechtenstein charities are exempt from inheritance tax. Whether this will change post Brexit is uncertain.

6. How can a solicitor help you leave a gift to charity in your will?

  • By ensuring that the charity is correctly referred to;
  • By ensuring that the will is valid and all possible steps are taken to protect against future challenges; and
  • By advising on your inheritance tax position and how any charitable gifts will affect this.

Some solicitors work alongside certain charities for Make a Will months. They’re all slightly different, but you will often make a donation to the charity rather than pay the solicitor’s costs. For example, we will be taking part in the St Gemma’s Hospice Make A Will Month this October.

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.