Many people wish to leave money to a charity in their will – this is referred to as a legacy.
Gifts and donations to a charity or charities in a will do not usually attract Inheritance Tax if the chosen charity has an HMRC reference number exempting them from the tax (known as a Charity Reference Number).
It is possible to leave money or assets such as property or valuables to a charity – and also to stipulate your wishes regarding use of that property or money: for example, it must be used for a specific purpose to benefit the charity, or those using the charity.
Leaving money to a charity in a will can be tax effcient – leaving more than 10% of an estate to a charity can reduce the rate of Inheritance Tax paid, with the amount donated subtracted from the value of the estate before Inheritance Tax is deducted.
To ensure that a chosen charity or charities receive your gift without paying inheritance tax, it is advisable to take expert legal advice from a specialist wills and probate solicitor when drafting your will.
Wills which are not correctly drafted can be declared void – and wills also need to be updated if your circumstances change; for example, if you marry, remarry, cohabit, or have children.
Some charities may offer to assist with the preparation of a will, or even the cost of making a will in which the charity will receive a legacy. If you are intending to leave a legacy to a charity, it is advisable to obtain independent legal advice and not to use a member of the charity as a signatory to a will, as this may lead to the will being contested in the future.
Duncan Lewis wills and probate solicitors can advise individuals, couples and charities on legacies – and any tax or legal implications when a donor leaves a legacy to a charity in their will.
Duncan Lewis offers competitively-priced fixed fees for wills, whenever possible – and hourly rates for contentious wills and probate matters.
For expert legal advice on Wills and Donating to a Charity, call Duncan Lewis Wills and Probate Solicitors in confidence on 0333 772 0409.