If charity is close to your heart and you’re a keen fundraiser, you may be considering leaving a portion of your assets to a worthy cause of charities in your Will after you die. You wouldn’t be the only one; according to studies, around 43% of Brits would consider leaving a legacy in their Will and research conducted by the British Heart Foundation confirms that around half of the 2,000 adults they polled would consider gifting to charity once they’ve passed away.
There are many benefits to leaving money to charity in your Will: from tax relief and a lower Inheritance Tax bill to a feeling of goodwill. Here’s all you need to know about leaving a legacy:
Who can leave money to charity in their Will?
Anyone is free to gift money to charity in their Will; and your donation can be as little or as much as you like. Many charities wouldn’t survive without public funding and gifting so this decision could mean more than you realise. Whether you’re writing a new Will or want to amend an already-written version to incorporate a charity gift, a professional expert such as Flackwoods Solicitors can help.
How do I leave money to charity in my Will?
If you’re writing a new Will from scratch, including a charity gift is simple. With a solicitor such as Flackwoods, you can identify how and where you’d like your assets divided after your death and during this process, you can name a charity or multiple charities that you’d like to gift. Then, your solicitor can help with finding registered details of your chosen organisation to ensure they’re properly and sufficiently included in your Will.
If you’ve already written a Will but would like to add a charity gift, this also isn’t a problem. A codicil is a legal document used to change a Will that’s already been made and can be instructed for simple additions such as charity legacies and is relatively straightforward.
It’s important to note that you don’t just have to leave financial assets to charity; you can also leave physical items that can be donated as part of your Will.
How can leaving money to charity in my Will benefit my tax?
As well as leaving a pleasant feeling of goodwill, leaving money to charity in your Will also has substantial tax relief benefits. Any donation will be taken off the value of your estate before any Inheritance Tax is calculated and can in turn reduce your Inheritance Tax amount if more than 10% of your estate is left to charity.
This dramatic cut in Inheritance Tax rate can help loved ones financially after your death, even if it does meant fewer assets are left to them in the process.
Can my family contest my decision to leave money to charity in my Will?
After your death, your loved ones do have the right to challenge your Will under statute law; testamentary capacity and dementia is a common cause of Will complaints.
There have been instances where people have left their entire estate to charity in their Will which has then been argued by family following their death. This can sometimes be hard to argue in court as a Will is fundamentally a legally binding, final document before a person’s death.
It’s best to talk through your decision to leave money to charity in your Will as soon as you decide upon it; keeping loved ones abreast of your asset plans is important and can lead to less confusion and upset further down the line. Acts such as the Inheritance (Protection for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 can help if your family do decide to contest your Will but open communication can help stop things getting that far.
Let Flackwoods Solicitors help
At Flackwoods Solicitors, we have years of experience at Will writing services and can certainly assist when it comes to including a charity gift in your Will. Call us today on 01403 738777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.