Giving to charity in your will

While many people wish to leave their estate (everything that they own) to their friends and family, many wish to leave money to a charity or a number of charities. You can include this gift in your will.

What can I leave a charity in my will?

A legacy is a gift left to a specific person or entity (such as a charity or group) which is included in your will. You can leave a legacy to a charity (for example, £2,000) and the rest of your estate elsewhere. You can also leave specific things to a charity, like art, jewellery or a house. You can also leave your whole estate to a charity, or a number of different charities. The charity would not receive the gift until after the time of your death, and it would be paid from your estate.

The most common types of gifts people leave to Cancer Research UK in their will are specific amounts of money (pecuniary gifts) or a percentage share of an estate (residuary gifts).  A residuary gift in the most beneficial because it will retain its value and won’t be affected by inflation.

Are there tax benefits to leaving money to charity?

Any gifts to charity in a will are not subject to any inheritance tax, which allows the charity to receive the full amount of the gift. While this is clearly a great benefit to a charity, this can also be beneficial for the deceased’s estate as it saves inheritance tax. In addition to this exemption, if you leave 10% or more of the total value of your estate to a charity, the remaining value of your estate would benefit from an overall reduced rate of inheritance tax from 40% to 36%.

How to leave money to charity in your will

The easiest way to gift to charity in your will is to include this when making your will. Making a will in Scotland is very easy to do using Wills by Brodies.


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