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Giving to Charity in Your Will

Published on 3 November 2016 | Modified on 6 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett

Many people choose to leave something to their favourite charity in their Will. Indeed, many Charities rely on legacies from estates as part of their fundraising, and some even campaign specifically to encourage people to leave a legacy to their Charity. There are lots of reasons you might choose to give charitably in your Will, here are just a few of them:


If you’ve ever personally been affected by the work of a charity, you might want to give something back to them as a thank you. Perhaps a close family member has received wonderful care in a hospice, or maybe you were rescued from an accident by an air ambulance charity. Many people are touched in some way by the good work that charities do and may want to give something back to them to help them help someone else in the future.

Additionally, many people are influenced emotionally by the important work done by charities, for instance, a television appeal for aid in war torn or impoverished countries may inspire you to help those in need. Or perhaps your dear family pet was once rescued by an animal welfare charity and you are grateful for the work they did and would love to see that work continue.

Seeing the work of volunteers and the effect their work has on the people they help encourages many people to want to ‘give back’ in their Will.


It is not uncommon for people to pass away without a Will in place. Without a Will, your favourite charity won’t ever benefit from your estate. It is also not uncommon for people to have no close family to benefit from their estate – such people may prefer to benefit their favourite charity rather than their long lost relatives, or indeed the state, should no relatives be found.

If you are not sure who you would want to benefit from your estate, but know that you want to continue to support a particular charity, making a legacy to them in your Will is a good way to achieve this.

IHT benefits

Any gifts left to charity under a Will are exempt from inheritance tax, and can reduce your liability to tax if you are above the tax threshold when you pass away. This can be quite a complex area, and your tax liability can depend on many things, including (but not limited to): whether you are married or widowed, how much you have given away during your lifetime and whether you are leaving your property to your children. In any event, if your estate is liable to tax, one way of reducing the amount of tax payable is by making gifts to registered charities.

There are lots of reasons why you might be considering making a charitable gift in your Will. Whether it be for personal reasons related to that charity, to ensure that your estate benefits a worthy cause rather than follows the rules of intestacy, or indeed to reduce your inheritance tax liability, making a Will is the only way to ensure the charity of your choice receives their intended gift.

If you would like to make a legacy in your Will to a charity, contact one of our private client solicitors today on 01270 625478 to arrange an appointment.

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