Leaving A Legacy In Your Will?
An Article by Anne Stennett, Private Client Solicitor at Curwens LLP
Writing a Will is an act of love. It shows the people that you love and care for that you will protect their interests even when you are no longer around to love and care for them. It also gives you the opportunity to remember the things you care about and that may include leaving a gift to your favourite charity.
62% of UK residents gave money to charity last year, a third of whom gave money regularly. Just like donating to charity during your lifetime, leaving a gift in your will can have a positive impact on people’s lives and be of comfort to your relatives, knowing that your legacy lives on.
I recall the anguish that I felt when a close friend received her cancer diagnosis, but also how much support we found was available and I was overwhelmed by the work that charities such as The Nightingale do. It struck me that someone else’s donation in their Will meant that my friend was provided with the support she needed to get through this difficult time.
Any gift, however small, can provide a meaningful outcome for someone else. If you were to become one of the 60% of people who die without leaving a Will, then legally you are considered to have died “intestate”. Strict intestacy rules would then apply, determining how your estate (your assets, your money, your possessions) would then be distributed amongst your relatives. Intestacy rules do not take into account modern family relationships. Cohabitees relatives by marriage and friends do not benefit and that charity you had regularly supported would also get nothing.
Gifts to charities are free of Inheritance Tax (IHT). Furthermore, if you leave more than 10% of your taxable estate to charity the rate of IHT paid on the rest of your estate falls from 40% to 36%.
There are two main ways of leaving a gift to charity in your Will, either as a money gift, or a percentage or share of your residuary estate (that is the balance after all other gifts, tax and payments have been made).
When leaving a gift to charity it is important to include the correct details of the charity, such as its full name and charity registration number. You should also think through your personal and financial circumstances, how best to leave the gift, how this gift fits into the structure of your Will. Hence it is worth taking some professional advice.
Hopefully you may now contemplate including a gift to charity in your new Will or updating your Will in order to do so and if you know of a friend or family member who is making a Will, ask them whether they have thought about leaving a gift to a charity too.
We hope Anne has shown the benefits of why leaving a legacy is so important for charities and how it can also benefit you and the gifts you decide to leave your loved ones.
If you would like to remember The Nightingale in your will you will need the following information.
Charity Name: The Nightingale Cancer Support Centre
Registered Charity Number: 1094435