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Charitable Legacies - Why Include a Charity in Your Will?

on Monday, 20 July 2020.

Alongside supporting a good cause, leaving a legacy to a charity in your Will can have other significant benefits.

Featuring in this years' 'Remember a Charity' campaign, The Wombles continue to promote looking after each other and the world we live in. In a short video promoting the campaign, Great Uncle Bulgaria tells the nation "if you can remember you're a womble, we hope you can remember a charity in 2020".

Charities rely heavily on charitable legacies. However, during the current pandemic they have been reluctant to promote legacy giving at a time when thousands of families are reeling from the loss of a loved one. This is despite the fact that such gifts are likely to be their main life line. At the beginning of lockdown in March, sector bodies estimated charities could lose as much as £4.3bn of income in the first 12 weeks, whilst Legacy Foresight suggested that legacy income could reduce by 9% this year.

'Remember a Charity' has now been running for over 10 years, successfully increasing awareness of the opportunity everyone has to leave a legacy to charity in their Will. It also corrects the misconceptions that such donations are only something for the rich, or perhaps childless to consider, or that you can't give to charity whilst also providing for family and friends.

By joining forces with the legal profession, the importance to everyone of making a Will has also been highlighted, and a multitude of 'Make a Will' weeks have arisen each year that have raised money from the donations made in lieu of legal fees and the legacies included in the Wills themselves. Whilst year on year the general public's awareness and willingness to give to charities on their death has increased, legal professionals are also now more likely to directly raise the question of charitable legacies with their clients when taking Will instructions.

Coronavirus charities blogs

Apart from the obvious feel good factor of giving to charity, or supporting a cause you feel passionately about, there are also indirect financial benefits to both you, and the charity itself. For example, charities do not pay tax and this means if you are a taxpayer, your donation can receive gift aid, with the charity receiving the benefit of the income tax you have already paid on the money donated, as well the donation itself. Any gifts to charity during your lifetime, or on your death, are also exempt from inheritance tax (which is payable at 40% once all potential reliefs are exhausted). This means any inheritance tax payable on your death will be reduced or removed entirely. Giving 10% of your 'net estate' to charity can also reduce the rate of inheritance payable to 36%.

'Remember a Charity' week runs from 7-13 September 2020 but in the current climate, many people will be considering putting a Will in place sooner. Whilst social distancing has created challenges for those drafting Wills, it is still possible to put a Will in place with the proper advice and care. We would always recommend seeking professional advice as there are potential pitfalls of homemade Wills.

If you are considering making or reviewing your Will, whether including a charitable legacy or not, or would like more information on the tax planning benefits of charitable giving, please contact Rachael Armstrong in our Private Client team on 0121 227 3726, or complete the form below.

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