Thinking of leaving a Charitable Gift in your Will?

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Consider whether you leave a specific amount or an overall share of your estate

New data from Co-Op Legal Services has reported a surge in charitable gifting in Wills during the pandemic. It is reported that there has been a 56% increase over the past 12 months compared with the year before. There are possibly several reasons for this, either many people are now putting in place their Wills because of the pandemic or they are recognising that many charities will struggle due to the economic effect of the pandemic.

If you are thinking of updating or preparing a new Will to possibly include a Charitable legacy, we are on hand to help during these uncertain times. We have a team of specialist advisers who can advise you and with the pandemic, are able to offer a range of options to suit you in terms of taking instructions, for example video conference calls or telephone calls. If you need a meeting with your lawyer, a meeting can be arranged in our office and systems are in place to help keep you and our staff safe.

Can I write my own Will?

It may be tempting to try and buy a Will pack and prepare your own Will, however this is fraught with difficulties. If not prepared properly and signed in accordance with the correct formalities, your homemade Will could create all sorts of problems for your loved ones and incur additional costs.

Charitable gift options

Making a Will is an excellent opportunity to consider gifting to Charities and there are various options such as leaving a specific amount or an overall share of your estate. In addition, you could leave a certain amount in your Will and let your Trustees decide which charities should benefit, taking into account your views set out in a separate Memorandum of Wishes, which can be regularly updated without the costs involved in changing your Will.

Benefits of charitable legacies

Many people do not know that leaving legacies to charities may also have tax benefits to your estate and we can advise you upon this when discussing your Will.

Gifts to charities in your Will are free of Inheritance Tax, provided that the charity is a qualifying charity, which we can check for you. Furthermore, if you gift over 10% of your taxable estate there will be a reduction in the amount of Inheritance Tax paid. However, in order to qualify it is important that your Will is drafted professionally to ensure it qualifies for this valuable reduction.

If you would like any further information about the above issues, please contact Sarah Dawson from our Wills, Trusts and Probate Team on [email protected] or call us on 01733 882800.

Sarah Dawson, Senior Solicitor

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