Leaving money to charity when you die

September 27, 2017

There are hundreds of thousands of charities in the UK doing fantastic work for those in need. But many of these charities would not be able to exist were it not for the money left to them in the wills of benefactors.

People choose to leave money to charities for a great many reasons. First of all it may be simply that a charity is very close to your heart. They may have supported you in a time of need, or perhaps given support to a loved one in a difficult time. Equally it might just be that a particular charity strikes a chord with you and that you think your money could create some good in the world after you are gone.

Another bonus to leaving money to charity is that it can help to reduce the amount of tax that you pay upon your death. Currently in the UK you can leave all of your estate to your spouse free of tax but after that the amount that makes its way to other relatives will be subject to inheritance tax. Leaving a part of your estate to charity can reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax liability and sometimes mean that you don’t have to pay any at all.  Click here for more advice on Inheritance Tax and charitable donations.

If you do decide to leave money to your chosen charity then there are three methods of doing so – through a pecuniary legacy, a specific legacy or through a residuary legacy. A ‘pecuniary’ legacy is when you decide to donate a fixed amount of money to a charity, a ‘specific’ legacy is the donation of property or shares and a ‘residuary’ is when you donate a share of your estate once any necessary deductions have been made. If you want to include a charitable donation in your will then you should seek the advice of an accountant and a solicitor to advise you on the best method for you. You should also enquire with your chosen charity as some will offer a free will writing service which can save you money.

Another key part of your end of life planning should be to formalise your funeral arrangements. Much like will’s, funeral planning is often overlooked but can provide some key benefits. Not only can it prove to be more cost effective but it also means that your funeral goes the way you want it to and puts very little pressure on the people closest to you.

Here at Cravens we have four award winning plans to choose from. We can help you to prepare and plan your funeral which will relieve pressure on your loved ones and ensure that your final wishes are met.

They are simple to arrange so please contact us on 0151 228 3900, or leave us a message through our contact us page by clicking here. Alternatively, for more information on wills, please visit the Wills, Probate and Inheritance section of the gov.uk website – https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance