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How to include a charity in your Will

09
Jan

2019

Donating to a charity close to your heart in your Will is a wonderful way to ensure that a cause you care about will benefit after you pass. There are several ways to go about leaving an amount to charity in your Will, which we explore here.

There are many reasons why people choose to leave money to a charity in their Will, and many of these may be personal and close to their hearts. Some may have been lifelong donors, in which case it is a way for them to make a final donation after they have passed. Many may have benefitted from a charity’s work throughout their life, on a personal level or on behalf of their family and friends, and may wish to give something back. Others may feel they don’t have anyone else to give their estate to and so look for a good cause to which to donate. Whatever the reasons, including a charity in your Will is really simple to do.

Choose your charity

The first choice you need to make is which charity you want to donate to. As with everything you include in your Will, this choice should be individual to you. Charities both large and small can receive donations from a person’s Will so take time to find a cause that really means a lot to you. Charities can make donations of any size really count, so any amount of money you give will make a real difference. You can also choose to donate to more than one charity if you wish.

What type of gift do you wish to leave?

Next, you need to decide what type of donation you wish to make. There are three types, you can make:

  1. A pecuniary donation - is a cash donation. In your Will you would state a set amount of money which you would like to go to your chosen charity. 
  2. A specific direction - This means you might leave something more tangible to a charity, such as a property or shares. 
  3. A residuary donation - where you say that you either want your whole estate to go to your chosen charity or that after your other wishes have been met, anything else should then be donated. 

Tax benefits

Leaving money to a charity in your Will can actually reduce the inheritance tax bill that your family might need to pay. While any money you leave to a spouse is passed over tax free, it is not the same for money you might leave to family. In the UK, tax rules mean that anything you leave above £325,000 is subject to a 40 per cent inheritance tax charge. However, donations to UK established charities are tax exempt. This means that you could choose to leave everything over £325,000 to charity meaning there would be no tax bill at all, or to give an amount to charity and reduce the tax bill significantly.

Seek advice

Ensuring what you put in your Will is correct and can be executed on your death is crucial, which is why it is essential to use a professional Will writing service when drafting your Will. The experts there will be able to guide you through the process, help you to explain clearly where you would like your estate to go and they can then ensure that your charity gets your gift when you pass.

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