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Leaving charitable gifts in your will
22 Aug 2018

Whether it’s a pound in a collecting tin, a donation at a bake sale or a monthly standing order, many of us support local and national charities on a regular basis.

Legacy income is believed to be the single biggest source of income for charities, apparently worth more than £2 billion a year, but it can be overlooked when drafting a will. 

Graham Fuller, a Senior Associate in our Wills, Probate and Lifetime Planning team, explains how leaving a legacy can benefit your estate as well as charity:

The charity sector isn’t called the Third Sector for nothing – many of the services we take for granted such as hospices, animal rescue centres and cancer support wouldn’t exist without not for profit organisations.

For charities, legacy income can be vital. And giving away money to a charity can be an efficient way to reduce your inheritance tax bill.

There are a number of options open if you want to remember a charitable cause in your will including leaving a cash gift or donating a percentage of what remains of your estate once all other costs and gifts have been made.

You don’t even need to wait to make that donation – any donation you make while you’re alive won’t count as part of your estate when you die for inheritance tax purposes.

Or you could use a common tragedy clause to ensure your estate goes to a charity of your choice in the unlikely event that your family die with you in an accident. Businessman Richard Cousins, who was tragically killed with all his family in a helicopter crash in Australia, used such a clause to leave £41m to Oxfam.

Supporting a charity is a very personal decision and it’s important to balance charitable giving with making provision for your family and other loved ones but we can help find a solution to suit you.

Graham deals with a broad range of matters including wills, powers of attorney, care fees, tax planning and probate. He is a full member of the Society of Estate Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly and is studying to become a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate solicitors.

Meet Graham Fuller