Naturally your first consideration in making a will is to take care of your family and friends. Once you have provided for them, you may like to consider the inclusion of legacy to a charity.

All gifts to charity are free of tax, and by making such a gift you may be able to bring your estate below the inheritance tax threshold and reduce your tax liability.

There are a number of different types of bequest that can be made:

  • a pecuniary legacy is a gift of a fixed sum of money, although it can be indexed linked to protect its value
  • a residuary gift is the remainder of your estate, or a percentage of it, after all bequests have been made and any debts, taxes and expenses paid.
  • a specific bequest is the gift of a particular item such as jewellery or a painting.
  • a conditional bequest states what should happen if either the beneficiary were to die before you, or where a gift will only come to the final recipient after a beneficiary’s death.
  • a revisionary bequest is where a legacy is left to a relative or friend for them to benefit from during their lifetime. For example, this might be in the form of a house, or the interest on a trust fund. After their death, it is then passed on as a legacy to the charity.

If you are thinking of leaving a legacy, it is important to discuss this with us to select the most appropriate type of bequest to meet your objectives and to ensure that it is worded correctly.

If you have already made a will it is simple to add a charitable legacy to it and we can help you draw up a simple amendment known as a codicil.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.