Charitable gifts and legacy donations from Wills are the foundation of so many good causes in the UK. But whilst 74% of people support charity during their lifetime only 6.3% leave charitable gifts. Quite an astounding statistic.
Karen Grimm, a senior solicitor in our Woking team who specialises in Wills, recently met with Lucie Trussler, Legacy Manager at Woking and Sam Beare Hospices, and discussed why leaving a gift to charity can make a big difference.
Lucy told Karen that £10 a month pays for an in-patient meal or refreshments in their Wellbeing Centre. A donation of £45 from a coffee morning pays for counselling or bereavement support and £54 gives one hour of care to a patient in the community and £460 of fundraising efforts pays for 24 hours of an in-patient’s care. So every gift, however small, really does make a big difference!
There are a number of ways in which you can benefit a charity in your Will. You may prefer to leave a pecuniary gift or otherwise a gift of some or all of your residuary estate. The thing to bear in mind is that pecuniary gifts will be paid before your residuary estate is distributed and there may well be a change in the value of your estate between the date of making your Will and your demise. So it is important to keep your Will under review.
Clients are often minded to benefit a local charity or local branch of a national charity. In respect of both of these it is important to check whether or not they are separately registered with the Charity Commission. If this is not the case then your Will must clearly state that your gift is for the use of the local branch.
Whilst clients may have a particular affinity with a particular charity’s objectives and make a gift for a specific purpose it is important to bear in mind that their objects and works can change. So to avoid any difficulty the charity should be contacted to confirm that such a gift will be workable within the constraints of its constitution and general charity law.
The reduced rate of 36% of Inheritance Tax introduced under The Finance Act 2012 opposed to the standard rate of 40% also encourages many clients to leave charitable gifts in their Wills.
So making a Will not only makes sense but it also makes a difference!
The Woking and Sam Beare Hospices is a patient-centred charity delivering specialist palliative care to adult patients of all ages with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. They provide free of charge holistic care and support services for patients, their families and carers across North West Surrey with a combined population of 360,000.