Remember a Charity Week is an opportunity for people to take a moment to consider leaving a gift to charity in their will, after looking after their family or friends.

Wills, Trusts & Probate solicitor Andrew HitchonTo mark this year’s awareness week (6th to 12th September 2021), Andrew Hitchon, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Bray & Bray, describes the different ways you can leave a gift to a charity in your will.

There is a lot many people do not know about wills. If you don’t have one in place, you could be forgiven for thinking that all that goes into a will is a definitive ‘who gets what’ in relation to your property and money. However, there are many ways of leaving assets to others in a will. These include:

Gifting a set amount

If you have a set amount in mind to give to a certain charity, then it’s entirely possible to set aside this money in your will. Some people who gift money in their wills like to know the value of their money, in terms of what it can do to help the charity and its cause.

Gifting a percentage

Gifting a percentage can relate to money or assets. For example, you could have a set amount in mind to leave to family and friends, then gift a percentage of whatever is left to a charity. Similarly, you can give a percentage of your estate, whatever it may include – from houses to cars, motorbikes to boats, and even the sale of jewellery.

Gifting items

You can leave almost anything to a charity, whether it’s clothing or other household items such as white goods or upholstered furniture. If the charity can’t use it, they can, in some cases, sell the item to help them raise vital funds. If you wanted to leave high value items such as jewellery or technology to a charity, that is also possible through the inclusion of this in your will.

Gift over of assets

Some people are left in a position where there is no one left to leave their assets to, particularly if a beneficiary dies before them. In this case, you can nominate a substitute beneficiary, which can include a charity, to inherit the gift, which is referred to as a gift over provision.

Gifting everything

Some people don’t have anyone that they want to or are able to leave their assets to. In this case, if you did not stipulate any person or organisation in your will, it would be left up to the law to decide what happened to your assets (this is called intestacy rules).

Inheritance tax savings when leaving a gift to charity

Whether you leave the gift of an item, a set amount, or a percentage to charity in your will, there are ways that this can benefit your other beneficiaries. If you leave more than 10% of your estate to a registered charity, the rate of Inheritance Tax will decrease.

The value of what you are leaving to charity could also be taken off the value of your estate, so that it won’t be taken into account when Inheritance Tax is calculated.

Speak to a solicitor about leaving a gift in your will

To discuss how best to go about leaving a gift in your will to a charity, please contact a member of the Bray & Bray fully STEP accredited Wills, Trusts and Probate team.

You can call your local office to speak to a specialist in your local area, using the telephone numbers below:

 call us on 0116 254 8871

Hinckley call us on 01455 639 900

Market Harborough call us on 01858 467 181

Corby call us on 01536 851050