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Ways you can Help | Leaving a Gift to Charity in your Will

Many people do not naturally embrace the idea of leaving a gift in their Will to charity. In part, because they do not realise how easy it is to leave a legacy and often, because our mortality is not a particularly nice thing to think about. People often shy away from the subject: it’s completely understandable.

Legacies are often associated with death, because this is the point at which they become activated. However, in many ways they hold a closer association with a persons life; and they are a wonderful testament to that life. Considering how you may be able to provide for and support other people and charities after you have gone is both compassionate and selfless.

Whatever their financial worth, legacies are remarkable gifts from truly remarkable people. Of course, unless you inform a charity of your intention, it’s a gift without any direct form of thanks or gratitude, other than the knowledge that you could be helping to safeguard the future of a charity for generations to come.

Many charities rely heavily on their legacy income and would fail to survive without such generous gifts. It is a simple fact that legacy income as a whole contributes the highest proportion of voluntary income in the charity sector. However, the difficulty for all charities is that this legacy giving is, by its very nature, unpredictable.

After you have provided for your family, or those who are closest to you, you may wish to consider leaving a gift to charity in your Will. Talk this through with family or friends and then speak with your solicitor or legal advisor: it’s a big decision.

It is easier than many people think to leave a legacy to charity and your solicitor will be able to write this into your Will using the correct legal terminology, although it’s useful if you can provide your solicitor with the registered charity number of the organisation you wish to support. If you charity is listed on this site you should be able to obtain it by clicking here.

Most charities also provide detailed information on their own website which will tell you about leaving them a legacy and the majority will have a member of staff, or even a team, which deal specifically with this kind of gift. They can usually answer any concerns or questions that you may have and they will be grateful for the knowledge that you are considering making a pledge to them. It gives them a chance to say thank you, in addition to be able to plan for their future.

It’s usually preferable for a charity, if your gift is left for their general charitable purposes. This enables them flexibility because they can use your gift in the areas where it is needed most. However, you can request in your Will that your legacy is left for a specific purpose, if this is important to you.

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