Should I Leave Money to Charity in My Will?


When people think about estate planning, they often focus on leaving their assets to family and friends.  However, if there is a charitable organisation close to your heart, you can list them as a beneficiary together with your loved ones.

Legacy giving allows you to leave a monetary donation or a valuable item to charity in your Will. Doing so results in many benefits not only to the charity you are helping but also to your estate as well. 

How To Leave a Gift to Charity In Your Will

Whether it’s a sum of cash, a property or any other asset, there are different ways you can leave your gift to a charity in your Will:

  1. Name a specific charity. When naming a charity in your Will, include their name, address, and registered charity numbers to ensure that the funds are directed to the correct organisation.
  2. Let your Executors that you have appointed in your Will choose. If you choose this route, make sure your wishes are clear so that you guide them effectively to enable them to choose the right charities.

Can My Family Contest My Donation?

Under the Inheritance Act 1975, certain people can contest your Will ( including your donation) if they feel they are entitled to a financial provision from your estate. Here are some of the people who can make a claim under your Estate:

  • Your civil partner or spouse (Current or former if they haven’t remarried or aren’t in a new civil partnership)
  • Someone you were in a relationship with for at least two years before the the date of your death provided you are living together as husband and wife.
  • Your children (Biological, step-children or adopted,)
  • Anyone else who is financially dependent on you

Charitable Donations and Inheritance Tax

Charitable donations can reduce the amount of inheritance tax that will be paid by your estate. However, you should speak to a professional solicitor to ensure that your estate is eligible for the tax reduction because special rules apply.

Can I Require the Charity to Use My Gift in a Particular Way?

Although you can specifically state how you want your gift to be used by the charity, it’s best to speak directly to the charity instead of leaving the instructions in your Will. This will prevent instances of a charity not accepting a gift because they are unable to comply with the conditions you have stated in your Will.

Should a Solicitor Be Notified When You Leave a Gift to Charity in Your Will?

Speaking with your solicitor when leaving a gift to charity can ensure that all of your wishes are reflected in your Will.  The solicitor can also provide you with guidance about the most tax-efficient to distribute your estate to your loved ones.

Do you have any more questions? Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors Can Help.

Including a charity dear to you in your Will allows you to support causes that you care for even after you’ve passed away. Your loved ones could also benefit from tax reductions, and you’re creating a legacy for yourself.

At Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors, we believe that everyone should be treated with kindness and respect and should receive personalised service to meet all of their needs. Our team has over ten years of experience in Wills, Probate, and Equity release, and it’s our mission to provide clients with peace of mind through a kind and caring expert legal services.
Contact us today for a consultation in our private office in Winnersh Triangle or in the comfort of your own home.