The 11-17th September 2017 is “Remember a Charity in Your Will” week across the UK. Burton on Trent law firm Else Solicitors is joining forces with over 1,000 professional advisors and more than 180 member charities, including the NSPCC, Cancer Research UK and the RSPCA to raise awareness of the benefits of leaving a gift in your Will to the charities you support.
Many charities receive a large proportion of their income from legacies left to them in Wills. With funding cutbacks, some of these organisations are dependent on these gifts to continue operating and helping others.
In addition to knowing that your charities will be supported after your death, there is a financial benefit. Any gifts you leave to charity are free from inheritance tax and so reduce the taxable part of your estate. Also, if you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity, then anything that is still subject to inheritance tax is taxed at 36% rather than the usual 40%.
Kathryn Caple, Head of Wills and Probate at Else Solicitors said “I meet many clients who regularly support one or more charities. In some cases, they have done so for most of their life, especially when the charity is close to them. Remembering a charity in your Will is a good way to continue supporting charities close to you after you have passed away.”
Chris Else, Managing Partner, commented “Our core values include supporting the community – a role which charities fulfil admirably. Else Solicitors is delighted to be involved with this initiative to help ensure that these charities are there for future generations.”
Making a Will is an important way of looking after the future of your family and friends. After you’ve taken care of loved ones, you may wish to leave a gift in your Will to your favourite charities.
If you want to leave a gift to charity but have already made a Will, it’s not a problem. There are a couple of simple ways you can change it.
1. A new Will
The first and probably simplest way is to write a new Will. Once written, it makes any Wills made by that person in the past void. In fact, most Wills will start by reciting that you’re writing a Will and that you’re revoking previous Wills.
You can write a new Will with a professional advisor like a Else Solicitors. However, if you do not want to do this, there is another way. It’s called a Codicil.
A codicil is a document used to change a Will that has already been made.
It’s used as a way to make simple additions or amendments to an existing Will like a change in the amount of a gift of money, or the addition of an executor or gift. This is all quite straightforward but problems can occur if you ever want to cancel the Will in the future.
When you cancel a Will which contains a codicil, the codicil does not get cancelled automatically, so when you write a new Will it can create inconsistencies and legal problems. To avoid this, make sure that any new Will clearly states that you are revoking all Wills and codicils previously made.
For further advice please contact Kathryn Capel.