According to recent research carried out for the Cabinet Office and Charities Aid Foundation, around 35% of people want to give money to charity when they die, but in practice only around 7% do so.
Part of this is, no doubt, due to the number of us who put off making a will – around 1 in 3 people in the UK die without a will, which can result in loved ones being left with more difficulties or confusion.
Once you have taken care of your loved ones, however, you may wish to arrange to continue to support your favourite charities or causes after your death.
The research about charitable gifts in wills found that simply being asked whether they wished to include any charities in their wills significantly increased the chance that a person would do so, more than doubling the number of people who named charities in their wills, compared to people who were making a will but were not specifically asked about charity.
As a result of this research, the organisation ‘Remember a Charity
’ was set up, to encourage people to consider making charitable gifts through their wills. The group promoted “Remember a Charity Week” earlier this year, and encourages solicitors to ask clients about gifts to charity, as part of the process of taking instructions for a will.
Of course, the decision of whether to make any gifts to charity, and which charity or charities to support, it is always a personal one, and as your solicitors we will never put any pressure on you to make any gift you don’t wish to make, or to choose one charity over another if you did wish to make a gift. What we will do, is to ask you the question, so that if you were considering making a gift to charity we will jog your memory, and will be able to ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected in the terms of the will you make.
We can also help to identify the charity or cause you wish to support, even if you are not sure of its full details.
Gifts to charity can be tax efficient and could affect the liability of your estate for Inheritance Tax, as well as helping the organisations or causes close to your heart.