Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington is raising awareness of charitable donations in wills, by suggesting that will-makers remember local charities when planning their estates.
The firm has noted that, last year in the UK, just less than £3billion was donated to charities in wills, with the figure only expected to rise over the next few years. The most popular types of charities to receive these donations were those associated with health, such as Cancer Research UK, animal welfare, like the RSPCA, and disabilities, for example Scope.
A factor which has increased the popularity of charitable will donations in recent years is that they can help to reduce the amount of inheritance tax that needs to be paid, in some cases eliminating it altogether. The rules regarding inheritance tax can be complex and by making a charitable donation, a person’s estate can be taken below the threshold at which inheritance tax applies.
Daniel Williams, a solicitor at Latimer Hinks, said: “Charitable donations in wills are incredibly generous and are often motivated without consideration to tax. Where tax planning is in mind, leaving legacies to charities is an effective way of reducing an estate’s exposure to inheritance tax which can often lead to greater charitable giving.”
Charitable legacies will typically include an individual leaving a set sum of money, something specific from the estate, such as stocks and shares or a property, or a percentage of the balance of assets when all other commitments have been met.
Whilst the majority of these donations find their way to national charities which have the benefit of a marketing budget, it is important to remember that local charities could also get much-needed funding from being named as a beneficiary.
Daniel says: “In the North East and North Yorkshire we have a host of locally-based charities that are helping people within the community and are often overlooked due to them not having the scope for big marketing campaigns. Charities such as St Teresa’s Hospice, the Butterwick Hospice, Age UK Darlington, the Bradley Lowery Foundation, and Family Help are doing fantastic work, and to be remembered in a will would make a real difference to them.
“Your solicitor will be able to help you if you’re thinking of leaving a gift in your will allowing you to consider which charities you plan to support.”