The Cabinet Office has undertaken a study which suggests that, although 35% of people in the UK would like to give money to charity in their Will, in reality only 7% actually do so.
Remember a Charity and the Charities Aid Foundation have recently published an in-depth report showing that many people do not know that it is possible to leave money to charity in a Will. They found that three times as many Britons would leave a charitable legacy if their solicitors reminded them that this was possible.
Why is it so important to give to charity in your Will? Because many charities rely on income from gifts in Wills to survive, with some charities receiving over 70% of their funding from charitable legacies. Gifts in Wills are worth nearly £2 billion to the charity sector annually – that is more than the funds raised by 20 Comic Relief shows. Two out of three guide-dogs and six out of ten life-boat launches are paid for by gifts in Wills, as is over a third of Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. A further 13% of all charitable donations comes from legacies left in Wills, so a trebling in the number of people leaving a charitable gift could have a significant financial impact on good causes.
Are there any benefits for the individual that donates? The Government is keen to offer incentives for those leaving a charitable legacy in a Will – offering discounted Inheritance Tax for people who leave more than 10% of their estate to a good cause. From 6th April 2012, if you leave 10% of your estate to charity, the tax due may be paid at a reduced rate of 36% instead of 40%.
Of course, Blaser Mills recognises that the priority when drafting a Will is to provide for family and close friends in the first instance. However, we also believe that our clients should be fully informed when drafting a Will. It is important that our clients are made aware of the fact that leaving a charitable legacy is possible, and that it is a way of continuing to support their favourite causes after they’re gone.
Consequently, Blaser Mills has signed up to the Remember a Charity Campaign Supporter Scheme. The aim of this scheme is for professionals to simply make clients aware that it is possible to give money to charity in their Wills. To find out more about this visit: www.rememberacharity.org.uk/