A will is a document by which someone specifies to whom they would like their assets to pass on their death and the people they would like to administer their estate. Many people also use a will to legitimately arrange their affairs in the most tax effective way possible.
A large number of people also want to leave a gift in their will to charity which is also tax effective because a charitable gift will not be included in the value of the estate when calculating any inheritance tax which might be payable on the estate. Moreover, if more than 10% of the estate is left to charity, it can reduce the rate of inheritance tax payable by the estate. A person can donate a fixed amount to charity, a particular item or what is left in the estate after other gifts have been given out.
Recent information released by Co-op Will Writers reveals that the trend to leave charitable gifts has increased dramatically during the recent lockdowns. They state that they have seen a 61% increase in the request for charitable gifts in wills.
It is advisable for anyone making a will to consider taking professional advice to draft the will. Even the simplest of estates can lead to complex difficulties, particularly if there are estranged family members or disagreement. A person wishing to make a will should also discuss and obtain impartial advice if they wish to make a charitable gift. Many charities rely on such gifts as a lifeline for their income for research and other charitable activities but this can lead to a charity challenging the position if a later will reduces or omits a charitable gift made in an earlier will. This can be very distressing for the beneficiaries of the later will and indeed, can feel like a very uncharitable act indeed.
To discuss wills or any other private client matter, contact us.