Legacy giving on the rise: what you need to know about leaving gifts to charity in your Will

More people than ever are giving to charity in their Will to mitigate their Inheritance Tax bill, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by a national legal services firm, shows that there has been a 61 per cent increase in charitable bequests, with almost one in three Will writers now leaving a gift in their final wishes.

But why are more people donating to charity in their Will?

What is legacy giving?

A legacy gift is a donation to a charity in your Will. The gift can range from cash and property to investments or shares in a company (known as a pecuniary legacy), or a percentage or share of the balance of your estate once all other payments have been made (known as a residuary legacy).

While many charities rely on legacy giving, there is still a large proportion of the nation that does not know that a gift can be left to charity in a Will.

Why is legacy giving increasing?

The coronavirus pandemic, combined with rising house prices and the threat of large Inheritance Tax bills, have forced many to think about later life planning.

The latest statistics reveal that average house prices in the UK increased by 8.6 per cent in the year to February 2021 – tipping many estates into the IHT “danger zone”. And over the next five years, thousands more estates could fall into the tax-paying bracket.

What are the benefits of legacy giving?

While supporting a meaningful cause, legacy giving also helps families mitigate Inheritance Tax.

Your donation will either be taken off the value of your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated, or reduce your inheritance tax rate from 40 to 36 per cent if at least 10 per cent of your estate is left to charity.

How can I leave a gift to charity in my Will?

Our expert team can help you leave a gift to charity in your Will.

For support and advice, please get in touch with Adam Hogg of our Private Client, Wills and Probate Team at adam.hogg@mackrell.com or on +44 (0) 20 7240 0521

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Adam Hogg
Adam is a solicitor based in the Private Client Team, who is experienced in acting for multi-jurisdictional high-net-worth individuals and families, who he advises on a broad spectrum of private wealth matters.