A win:win scenario: leave a legacy to charity AND reduce your inheritance tax bill
Written by Cindy-Marie Leicester on February 18, 2016.
It’s official! The British are a charitable lot. According to the World Giving Index, Britain is the most generous developed nation in the world with a benevolent three quarters of its citizens giving to good causes every month. It’s not surprising then that they have a whole week (the second week of September) dedicated to encouraging more people to leave a charitable legacy in their will.
Gifts in wills currently contribute a respectable £2bn per year to the charity sector but that is just 7.3% of the amount generated by the public. Remember a Charity week aims to increase the percentage of the population leaving a legacy to a charity and ultimately to make legacy giving a social norm.
This year the awareness campaign included a stunt called The Extreme Will Writers which involved some professionals writing their wills in the most extreme circumstance they could think of – just before jumping out of a plane! The message of the You Tube clip is ‘You don’t have to go to extremes for charity… including a gift in your will is legendary enough.’.
This was just one element of the campaign which hopes to raise awareness among the will-writing public of the effects of leaving a gift to charity in a will and encouraging professional advisers such as solicitors and will writers to prompt clients to do so. The campaign appears to be working with the percentage of charitable legacies increasing from 5.1% in 2000 to 7.3% in 2013 and 35% of people willing to consider leaving a gift in their will.
The fact is that even small amounts can make a big difference and could even mean the difference between success or failure for some charities. And as a bonus, for those who have amassed a large estate, donating 10% of their legacy to charity will result in a discount in inheritance tax of 4%. Which means that donating more may reduce your tax bill more. What’s not to like?
I am always happy to help clients with advice on will writing and charitable giving – please feel free to contact me for further information.