After making provision for your family and friends you may wish to include a charity in your Will. It is a strange fact that whilst 70% of people give to a charity during their lifetime only 4%  leave a legacy to a charity in their Will.

Why should I consider leaving a gift to charity?

Leaving a gift in your Will is a relatively simple and can have a number of advantages:

  • To enable the charity to continue their good work
  • To benefit the community in which you live and work
  • To remember a charity who has helped you or your loved ones
  • To benefit a charity which means something to you
  • To help a cause that has moved you
  • To reduce your inheritance tax liability

How can I leave a gift to charity?

There are a number of ways you can benefit a charity in your Will:

  • A pecuniary legacy – a gift of a specific sum of money ranging from a modest sum to a substantial sum.

With inflation the value of this gift may reduce, so you may wish to link this to the Retail Price Index or review your Will on a regular basis to address this.

  • A specific legacy – a gift of a particular asset such as a piece of jewellery, a car, property or the contents of your home after certain items have been given or taken by your beneficiaries.

You should check whether the charity accepts any given item.

  • A residuary legacy – a gift of all (or part) of what is left after the payment of funeral and administration expenses, taxes, debts, liabilities and any pecuniary and specific legacies.

What information do I need to leave a gift?

For your gift to go to the correct charity or department you will need to know the official charity name, address and registered charity number and the title of the specific department you wish to benefit.

MACKS can obtain this information for you.

What if the charity closes or changes its name?

You have to consider what your wishes would be if your charity changes as a result of amalgamation or merging with another charity, changes its name or purpose.

Failure to address this in your Will could mean the gift lapses and falls into your residuary Estate. At MACKS we can explain this carefully to you and draft your Will to deal with this problem and ensure your gift does not fail and continues to reflect your wishes.

What is the next step?

Everyone’s circumstances are different. At MACKS we strongly recommend a face-to-face meeting with one of our specialist Solicitors who will be able to explain things in greater detail and discuss the precise wording to be incorporated in your Will to ensure that your specific wishes are met.


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