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Charities to ensure that they are raising donations ethically

View profile for Claire Read
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I have just spoken on the Ronnie Barbour BBC Essex Radio show (listen here) about charities and making gifts in wills. The Fundraising Regulator has warned charities to ensure that they are raising donations ethically because charitable donations in wills have increased substantially. Perhaps I am not cynical enough, but there may be two good reasons why there has been an increase in will donations, rather than sharp practices by charities.  

The first is that 5 years ago, the Government introduced a reduced Inheritance Tax rate to encourage charitable giving if 10% of an individual’s net estate was left to charity.  It may be that we are starting to see these legacies come through.  

The second is, over the past few years many local charities are now operating will schemes whereby we agree to give our time for free to make a will and in return, an immediate donation is made to the charity.  In my experience, under these schemes, there is no pressure or obligation to leave a legacy in a will to the charity. 

We are proud to be a community minded firm and over the past year we have supported Farleigh Hospice, CRY, St Luke’s Hospice, Havens Hospice, J’s Hospice, St Helena Hospice, Colchester Hospital’s Charity, Papworth Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society (who are currently our firm’s chosen charity of the year) will schemes.  This year, we have given our time for free and in return raised over £15,000 for the charities through their will schemes.  

Whether or not you wish to leave a legacy to a charity, making a will is really important and can have disastrous implications if one is not made.  Read more here for more information about making a will or complete our online enquiry form. I am based at our Chelmsford Office and can be reached on 01245 453 835 or email claire.read@birkettlong.co.uk.     

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