Published 15th September 2016 | Wills

Leave a charitable gift in your Will

Who Wants To Live Forever?

While it may not be possible to actually live forever, there is a way to still make a difference to the world even after you are gone.

It is never easy thinking about writing a Will but, as we explained in our article ‘Top Reasons To Write A Will’, a Will ensures everyone understands your wishes for both your estate and your funeral.

It can be comforting to think that your money, possessions and property have been left to those you love most dearly, but what about leaving a legacy? Leaving a gift in your Will to your favourite charity can have a huge impact and can provide comfort to your loved ones that you are helping future generations, quite possibly including your grandchildren.

Do Something Amazing

Remember a Charity, an organisation representing various charities, aims to remind us all that we can do something amazing for the world by remembering our favourite charity when making a Will.

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that only the rich and famous can make that kind of contribution but that isn’t the case. Anyone can, and people do, leave a charitable gift in their Will and it doesn’t need to be a huge gift. It could be as small as, say, £100 or as big as £10,000.

A staggering 61% of Brits do not have a Will which means that nearly two thirds of the population will die intestate. Take a look at our article ‘Writing a Will: The Facts’ to find out more.

Research shows that 35% of people surveyed wanted to gift a charity in their Will. Unfortunately, however, only 6.3% actually do. If just 4% of the population changes their Will behaviour an additional £1 billion would be generated each year for UK charities.

Which Charities Can You Gift?

If you are seriously considering leaving a charitable gift in your Will, then the next thing to decide is ‘which charity?’.

For some, this may be an easy decision. You may have supported a certain charity or charities throughout your life for your own personal reasons and want to continue supporting them when you die. For others, the choice may not be quite so clear.

Either way, Remember A Charity can help you to find a charity by geographical location or by the type of charity. For example, you may want to browse charities in your region or you may wish to look at different causes such as ‘Religion / Faith’, ‘Children / Youth’ or ‘Environment / Conservation’. Likewise, you may want to combine location with different causes.

There are many different options and you aren’t limited to just one cause. You could choose to gift various charities in your Will.

How Do You Leave A Gift To Charity?

Many charities would not exist if it wasn’t for the gifts they receive through Wills. Charitable legacies are essential for many good causes in the UK, enabling them to continue their work.

gift-to-charity-in-your-wills

The thought of gifting to a charity can be worrisome as you may wonder if you really can make an impact. You will want to reassure yourself that the gift will be well used for something you care about and so it is important to do your research. For example, looking at the Great Ormond Street Hospital website, they clearly state that they received their first legacy in 1855 and that this and subsequent legacies have helped save children’s lives.

Once you have done your research and if you then decide that you do want to leave a legacy, we strongly advise you to find a Solicitor to help you write your Will.

While it is possible to write your own Will, there is the possibility that it won’t stand up to scrutiny. If it doesn’t it can cause misunderstanding and dispute after your death. This can result in substantial legal costs, reducing the amount of money left to be inherited.

If you already have a Will and subsequently decide to leave a gift to a charity, it is possible to either make an entirely new Will or you could simply make a Codicil which is an addition to your existing Will.

Your Solicitor will be able to help you write a Will, or Codicil, that is right for you.

Action Plan…

  1. Think carefully about your Will. Who do you want to benefit from it? Which, if any, charities would you like to leave a gift?
  2. Decide which charity(ies) you would like to gift. Even if you are clear which charity you would like to leave a legacy to, it is still important to do as much research as possible. What percentage of your legacy will be used? Is any of it used for other purposes? Most, if not all, of the charities on Remember A Charity will have a page on their website that tells you about gifting to their charity.
  3. Find a solicitor via Remember A Charity’s website – only approved solicitors are included on the website.
  4. Prepare for writing your Will and meet with your solicitor.
  5. Finally, don’t forget, if you have already written a Will and want to change it, it is possible.

How We Can Help

At Osborne Morris & Morgan, we understand that writing a Will can be an emotional time. Our experienced solicitors are committed to providing long-term support and are always on hand to respond to any questions.

Unlike unqualified Will writers, our advisors adhere to tight regulations and are trained in preparing Wills that stand up to close inspection. As a member of Remember A Charity, we are fully able to help and advise you in including a gift in your Will.

In additional to preparing a fixed-fee Will, our team can provide advice on related subjects such as inheritance tax, setting up trusts or if you are trying to deal with a will and property after someone has died.

Call us on 01525 378177 or contact us online for more information.

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