Charitable Gifts

You may be considering leaving a gift to a charity of your choice in your Will, and doing so is a great way to ensure that your legacy carries on after your death. Not only is leaving a gift to charity commendable, it can also make a difference to the amount of Inheritance Tax you will pay on your estate should you choose to gift 10% of your net worth. There are of course many charities to choose from, and deciding which you would like to leave a gift to is a completely personal choice. Perhaps there is a charity you have been passionate about during your lifetime, or perhaps there is a charity you always felt you could benefit by gifting some of your estate.

According to a survey conducted by Remember a Charity in 2015 there are increasingly more people choosing to leave a gift to a charity in their Will. The survey shows that 17% of people claimed to have left a gift to charity in their Will, an increase from 12% in 2010 and 14% in 2013.

There are 3 conditions when it comes to leaving a gift to a charity. You must ensure that the gift is:

  1. Outright
  2. Immediate
  3. To a UK-registered charity.

For the gift to be outright it must go directly to the charity, there can be no other conditions. If you are gifting money, it must be left in whole to the charity. For example, “I give to British Liver Trust of 6 Dean Park Crescent, Bournemouth BH1 1HL whose registered charity number is 298858 the sum of Thirty thousand pounds.”

For the gift to be immediate it must go straight to the charity without any other interest in it. The charity must be the first and only recipient of the gift, for example allowing a sibling to occupy the property until their death and then leaving the property to the charity is not allowed.

And finally, for the gift to go to a UK-registered charity they must be registered with the Charity Commission and be given a registered charity number.

Providing these three conditions are met, there should be no issues with the charity of your choosing receiving the gift you wish to leave them, be it in lifetime or upon your death.


If you are feeling charitable this Christmas then you’re welcome to donate to the British Liver Trust (supported by the SWW) using this page:

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The Society of Will Writers is a non-profit making self-regulatory organisation whose primary objectives are the advancement, education and ethical standards within the will writing profession.

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