Leaving Money to Charity in Your Will

Leaving money to charity in your will
Legally reviewed by: Siobhan Cribbin In: Wills & Probate

Leaving money to charity in your will is a great way for you to give back to a cause after your death. If you decide to leave a gift to a charity in your will, then it can also reduce the amount of tax that is paid by the rest of your estate. This means that your family can also get the most out of their inheritance.

How to Leave Money to a Charity in your Will

There are two different ways that you can leave money to a charity in your will under the laws in England and Wales. These are:

  • Place the responsibility on the trustees of your will – this could be a family member.
  • Specify a registered charity or charities that will benefit

If you want to choose specific charities, it is a good idea to also include the charity numbers in case they happen to change their name.

If you have decided to let the trustees in your will to choose the charities, then it is essential that you leave clear instructions about what you want. This will help them to make a decision.

Your gift could be in a number of different forms. It could be:

  • A particular property or asset
  • A cash sum
  • Your residual estate or a share of it. This will be what’s left after other specified gifts, costs, and tax.

Why Should You Consider Leaving Money or a Charitable Gift in Your Will?

Other than the obvious reason that you may really appreciate the work that a charity has done for you in your life and you want to leave a legacy, there are also some practical advantages to leaving money or a charitable gift in your will. The main advantage is that assets will be exempt from inheritance tax. Our specialist solicitors will be able to help you organise your estate and assets to achieve this.

Do I Have to Pay Tax on Charitable Gifts in my Will?

Any gifts to charities that you make are free of inheritance tax if they are a charity registered in England. Gifts to charities that are located outside of England can be slightly more complicated but can be dealt with by a legal professional.

Can a Family Member Object to a Gift Left to Charity in my Will?

Under the Inheritance Act, you are required to provide reasonable financial support for any dependents that you may have. If your Will does not fulfil this requirement, then a family member may be able to contest a charitable gift to get the financial provision that they are entitled to. There is also a chance that they may be able to have your entire Will declared invalid. They may also try and claim that you did not make your will whilst of sound mind.

What Can Be Left to Charity in my Will?

There are a few different things that can be left as charitable gifts, including:

  • A cash sum
  • A particular property or asset
  • A share, or the whole, of your residuary estate (what is left after other specified gifts, costs, and relevant tax).

There are some rules about leaving money to charity in your will, so consulting with trust and estate solicitors is beneficial.

If you want to discuss how you can leave money or assets to charity in your will, then we can help. We offer expert legal advice on all matters of wills and probate.

Read more on our Will Writing Solicitors page

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Legal Disclaimer.

All advice is correct at time of publication.