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Can I leave gifts to charities in my will?

View profile for Leah Woodnott
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Can I leave gifts to charities in my will?

Did you know that one of the best ways to support charities is to leave a legacy to them in your will? 

Charities often rely on donations made under a deceased’s will to keep the charity going financially, as most charities do not receive lottery funding or government funding.

There are many benefits to leaving gifts in your will to a charity and I have answered below the common questions that people ask:-

How do I leave a gift to a charity when I pass away?

By ensuring that you have a valid will in place when you pass away, you can detail the name, postal address and charity number of the charity/charities that you would like to inherit part of your property, when you pass away. 

You can specifically list the charities that are close to your heart and you can have peace of mind knowing that your hard-earned funds are going to such a worthy cause.

What property can I leave?

There are different ways you can leave gifts under your will. 

One option is to leave them a pecuniary legacy, which is a cash gift.  The cash gift can either be index-linked or not index-linked.  If it is index-linked then the value of the gift will go up in line with inflation between the time you have executed your will and when you pass away.  

This means that as inflation changes throughout the years, there is less of a reason to update your will in the future if inflation changes.

You can also leave a percentage of your residuary estate to a charity or leave a specific item of property outright. Alternatively, you can split your estate between as many charities as you feel fit, in equal or unequal shares.

Do I have to pay Tax on the gift?

If you leave a gift to a charity in the UK then you do not have to pay Inheritance Tax on the gift made. The exemption does not have a value limit, so if you were to leave your entire estate to a UK charity, the gift would be completely free of Inheritance Tax. 

In addition, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity and your estate has to pay Inheritance Tax (IHT) then the IHT will be reduced from 40% to 36%.

If you would like to leave a gift to a charity in your will, then please do not hesitate to contact Leah, one of our will specialists via leah.woodnott@birkettlong.co.uk or 01206 217609.

 

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