Why Give To A Charity?

Many people give to charities during their lifetime, but the extent of their generosity may be limited by their means or other spending priorities. Including a charity in your will, however, provides the opportunity to be as generous as you wish and truly show your support for that worthwhile cause.

It is also a good time to show a final appreciation for any help that you, or a loved-one, may have received from a particular charity. In the same way that the network of support was there to help you, it will also be available to those who seek its services in the future. 

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity comments: “When planning your inheritance, please consider the charity you’d like to benefit after taking care of loved ones. Everyone can leave the world a better place by leaving a gift to charity in their Will.”

When choosing a charity that you wish to benefit in your Will, it is important to ensure that you properly identify and clearly state the name of the charity. This will ensure that your will does not become subject to legal challenge.

The simplest way to avoid confusion is to include the Charity Registration number allocated to the individual organisation by the Charities Commission. You should also consider and make clear whether you intend the bequest to be made for the national body, or a local or regional branch.

Although charities would generally prefer that you didn't, you can specify the purposes for which your bequest is to be used. In addition, it is also recommended that you provide for circumstances in which a charity may have closed, or merged with another, after the writing of your Will. 

Where an estate is liable to Inheritance tax, there is an additional benefit in that charitable bequests are tax exempt. 

For example an estate of £350,000, with the Inheritance Tax "Nil Rate Band" of £325,000 (2010/2011) left conventionally would pay Inheritance Tax of £10,000. The beneficiaries receiving the £340,000 balance. 

If £325,000 were left to family etc and £25,000 given to charity, the tax bill would be "nil". 

The family would lose £15,000, the tax man would lose £10,000 and charity would benefit by £25,000. Many will find the charity of their choice preferable to the "compulsory charity" - the Exchequer !

For more information on charitable legacies see Remember A Charity by clicking here and to make a Will which includes a gift to a charity, contact your local Institute member by clicking here.