With COVID-19 having a significant impact on individuals and society alike, it is, now more than ever, essential to ensure that your affairs are in order. Having a professionally drafted Will can ensure that the people or organisations you wish to benefit, do, as well ensuring your own peace of mind that everything is taken care of.
During these difficult times, many organisations are facing challenges, with Charities specifically predicted to suffer massive losses as a result of the pandemic. The Government have been unable to offer substantial financial support to every organisation and so many will find the coming months/year particularly challenging. Many charities rely heavily not only on fundraising and donations but on charitable legacies made under Wills as their main source of income.
Many people support charities during their lifetime, whether these be local projects or a cause particularly dear to their heart. Leaving a legacy to a charity in your Will allows you to continue your support even after you have passed away. There are various types of legacies which you can leave, namely pecuniary legacies, that being a specific sum of money, residuary legacies, being a gift of part or the whole of your estate and lastly, a Charitable Trust. We are familiar with local and nationwide charities and are able to advise on suitable options if required.
To ensure that that the charities you wish to benefit do, we can provide a clear and well drafted clause in your Will. Additionally, further specific instructions can be provided as to how you wish the legacy to be utilised, for instance, specifically for medical research or for the benefit of a specific branch of the organisation. Further provisions will also be drafted into your Will to ensure that even if your chosen charity’s details have changed, your legacy can still pass to them or if the charity is no longer in existence, the gift can pass to an organisation with similar objectives.
If you are looking to leave a more substantial amount money to a charity, you may wish consider setting up a Charitable Trust in your memory. Such a Trust could allow for donations to be made over a prolonged period, with the benefitting organisations being determined by your Executors in line with your known wishes. Our Private Client team are well placed to advise you on the drafting of detailed provision in your Will in relation to the creation of your own Charitable Trust.
Whilst charities greatly appreciate any and all donations/legacies left to them, there are also benefits to you for leaving such a legacy. Most notably, charitable legacies pass free of any Inheritance Tax, and consequently, the full amount you wish to gift is passed to the charity, boosting the impact of your support to your chosen organisation(s). Additionally, leaving at least 10% of your ‘net estate’ to charity can earn you a discount on the rate of Inheritance Tax from 40% to 36%. By leaving a charitable legacy in your Will, you will not only be able to support charities to continue their invaluable work but in doing so, you will benefit from tax exemptions on the sum gifted, as well as a potential discount on the rate of Inheritance Tax applicable to the remainder of your estate.
Whilst our offices remain closed for the time being, our Private Client team continues to advise and provide services and will be available for any questions or queries you may have regarding your personal affairs.
I do hope this can provide you with some peace of mind in such uncertain times. I am certain that if we all come together during this challenging time, we will be stronger than ever at the other end. Please stay safe and take care.
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