Emma Stride is a Wills and Probate partner at FDR Law at our Stockton Heath Heath office on Walton Road
Leaving a legacy to charity
Q: I regularly support a local charity and would like to leave them a legacy in my Will. Are there any implications for the rest of my estate?
A: Most charities would struggle to survive without legacies generously left to them by people like you. Although nearly three quarters of the population say they give to charity, amazingly only 6% actually make a charitable bequest in their Will.
If your estate is over the current inheritance tax threshold of £325,000, (£650,000 for a married couple) this could help you reduce your tax bill. The value of any gift to charity or ‘community amateur sports club’ left in your Will would be deducted from your estate before inheritance tax is worked out.
You can either leave a fixed sum, known as a ‘pecuniary legacy’ or a flexible sum, called a ‘residuary legacy’, which is determined once other gifts have been distributed. Make it clear in your Will exactly which charity you wish the money to go to and if you want a specific branch to receive your bequest, you should state this too.
If you leave 10% of your estate to charity then your estate may also be eligible to pay inheritance tax at a reduced rate.
And if you take part in a special Will-making week, you could make this a doubly good act for charity.
Like many legal firms, we are organising a charitable wills week starting on 3rd November 2014. We are offering a free Will-writing service in exchange for a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support. Suggested amounts are £75 for a single Will or £125 for joint mirror Wills.