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How do I go about leaving money to charity in my Will?

Apr 5, 2017

We all need to plan for the distribution of the money, possessions and other assets that accumulate during our lifetime.

It is often assumed that these things will pass to certain family members or friends, but it really is up to you to decide how you would like to divide up your estate and who should benefit from the things you own. If you want to leave money to a cancer charity, animal welfare, or an international aid foundation, you can. It’s your choice. Many people do this as a final gesture of support for a particular cause. And there are financial advantages that come with that, too. Charitable legacies don’t count towards the value of an estate, so they can be effective ways of saving on the Inheritance Tax that would otherwise be payable.

Whatever your motivation for making this sort of gift, the important thing is that you have made proper plans. And there really is no substitute for talking this through with an expert, and having a carefully constructed and well-drafted Will in place. Clarity and certainty is key; the last thing that any family would welcome in the aftermath of a loved one’s death is a legal wrangle over their estate.

As you would expect, there is more than one way of structuring the distribution of assets. You might choose to ring-fence a certain amount of money to go to your charity, alongside specific gifts that will be made to others. It’s also possible to allocate a percentage of the value of your estate to that charity. The timing of this will usually be significant; should the payment be made before or after the distribution of other assets, for example?

A Wills specialist will be able to advise you on the best option for you, taking account of your legal and moral obligations to provide for those people close to you. They should also advise you to keep your Will under review – something that isn’t always high on clients’ agendas. Have you had a change of heart since your Will was written? Have your circumstances altered? It’s so important that your Will remains current. After all, your last wishes are the ones that will be carried out.

Contact a member of our Private client team for more information. Call us on 01264 353411, email: wills@bsandi.co.uk or complete our free, no obligation, online enquiry form and we will be happy to assist you.


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