It was revealed last week that us generous Brits broke the record for money left to charities in their Wills last year. A huge £2.5billion was left to charities in legacies written into Wills in 2016 - up £7million on 2015.
Which charity came out at the top of the pile?
Cancer Research UK was the most popular choice of charity across the whole of the UK. They received £177million in 2016 just from money left to them in people’s Wills. The highest ranking Scottish charity was the National Trust for Scotland which received £7.77million.
Remembering a charity in your Will
Although the figure raised is an enormous amount of money, the report shows that this was only generated by 6% of the UK population. This is a huge contrast to the 70% of Brits who currently donate to a charity in some way each year.
Leaving a donation in your Will can often be forgotten about when there is so much emphasis on charitable giving in day-to-day life. Most people won’t think twice before dipping into their pockets for a colleague’s sponsored run or buying a copy of the Big Issue every month. However, the donations which make the biggest impact for a charity often come through legacies and without people remembering a charity in their Will, many charities would simply no longer be able to run. Reports such as these are a great reminder about this option to help support those causes close to our hearts.
Legacies becoming more popular
Legacies are becoming more popular however, as the report revealed that charitable giving via legacies has been increasing year on year, up 39% in the past five years.
Show your support with a legacy
When you draft your Will, your main priority will likely be to ensure that your family and loved ones are all provided for. However, if you have a particular charity that you hold close, you may wish to show your support to this cause upon your death by leaving them a legacy. There are a number of ways a charity can benefit from a donation in your Will. You may want the particular charity to receive a certain asset you own. You could also leave a set sum of money or a share of your overall estate.
Leaving a legacy is also beneficial in terms of the tax due on your estate after you die. Any legacy to charity will be taken off the value of your estate before inheritance tax is calculated. Additionally, if you leave a certain portion of your estate to charity, it will reduce the inheritance tax charged on the remainder of your estate.
Kirsten Ross is a solicitor in our private client team. Kirsten provides guidance on a wide range of private legal matters, including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Guardianships, Tax Planning and Trusts.