Your Will is the document that sets out what will happen to your money, property and possessions when you are gone, and is vital to ensure that your assets are dealt with according to your wishes.
If you are thinking about creating or updating your Will you may consider the possibility of including a charitable gift.
Why leave a gift to charity in you Will?
Many charities rely on gifts received from their supporters when they die, and would simply to be able to continue without them.
Often, various Will schemes exist which see solicitors’ firms support charities by offering to waive their fee for preparing a simple Will in return for the Will-maker considering a donation or legacy to the charity.
How can you leave a gift to charity in your Will?
You can leave a gift to charity in your Will in a number of ways, including;
- Leaving a fixed sum of money, or a specific item in your Will.
- Leaving a proportion of your estate, which will be calculated once any specific gifts, debts or expenses have been paid.
You should ensure that the full details of the charity are set out in your Will to ensure your gift is donated correctly, particularly if the charity is not well known. For example, include the charity’s name, registered address and registered charity number.
What can you leave to charity in your Will?
You have several options for what to leave a charity in your Will, and you may wish to consider what might benefit them the most. Your gift may be:
- A cash amount
- A specific property or asset
- Your residuary estate or a share in your residuary estate (your residuary estate is what is left after other specified gifts, costs, and tax).
Are there tax implications on gifts to charity in your Will?
Gifts made to certain charities are exempt from Inheritance Tax, so, if you leave a gift to a qualifying charity in your Will, the value of the gift will be deducted from your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated.
You could, therefore, avoid having to pay Inheritance Tax altogether, or minimise the amount payable.
As well as this, if you leave a certain proportion of your estate to charity, it can reduce the rate of Inheritance Tax payable on the remainder from 40% to 36%.
Can you specify how a charity can use the gift from you Will?
You can, although it is recommended you discuss this with the charity first rather than simply leaving instructions. There have been cases where charities have had to refuse gifts from Wills as they could not comply with the conditions set out for them.
It is also worthwhile getting advice from legal professionals if you intend to add strings to your gift, so that they may consider the practicalities of this and the best way to draft the provision. This is very unlikely to form part of any standard Will-drafting instructions, so you will need to specify when taking advice.
Is it possible for family members to object to a gift left to charity in your Will?
Under the Inheritance Act, you must make reasonable provision in your will for any dependants that you have. If your will fails to provide, a family member can contest any charitable gift in order to obtain the financial provision they are entitled to under the law.
Alternatively, it is possible for a family member to contest the will on the grounds that you were under undue influence or not of sound mind when you made the gift.
Tozers partnership with FORCE Cancer Charity
Leaving a donation to FORCE Cancer Charity will assist with their longer-term planning including continuing to provide face to face support to those in our community affected by cancer. In addition, your donation will help to continue to fund local research as well as support innovation to improve patient care at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.
Fundraising Development Officer Olly Watts at FORCE Cancer Charity said: “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Tozers Solicitors with an all year-round Will writing service offering both supporters, patients, their spouses and partners the opportunity to make a valid Will. By making a donation or considering leaving a gift to FORCE, you’ll be investing in our mission to continue offering the best possible support for people dealing with cancer, face to face and close to home.”
Visit FORCE Cancer Charity website to find out more about the work they do in the community to support anyone affected by cancer.
How can Tozers help?
If you would like to put your Will in place, or would like to update one, including adding a charitable gift, then please contact our dedicated Probate and Wills team, who will be happy to help.