Docklands Solicitor

Latest legal news from Docklands Solicitors, Kaslers Solicitors LLP.

Saturday, 9 April 2011


I have been warned there may be issues over leaving part of my estate to Charity - what are they?

- Many charities could not survive without the legacies and gifts left to them through Wills of people who have decided to leave them something after they have died – afterall, many people have no family they wish to leave assets to, or their potential beneficiaries may not need their money; as if they are wealthy in their own right it would only add to their own inheritance tax liability.

- Just like any other beneficiary, Charities can be fiercely determined to ensure they get every penny available to them, and they have very well developed legal departments to ensure this happens! As a result we often hear of family members who have been appointed as Executors being ‘harassed’ by these charity representatives who ‘want their money and want it now’. The charities afterall are not the ones who have just lost a loved one, and this unwanted extra pressure comes at an already very stressful time. If you find yourself in this situation it is best to employ the services of a Professional Executor, such as a Solicitor, to keep the circling sharks at bay.

- In addition it is always advisable to take professional estate planning advice when making your Will if your estate comes to over the ‘Nil Rate Band’ (NRB) which is the amount of money (currently £325k per person) which you can leave free of Inheritance Tax (IHT) to a ‘taxable beneficiary’ - being anybody other than your spouse/civil partner, the government(!) or a registered charity.

- This means that, if your estate is worth over £325k, anything over this NRB will be taxed for IHT at 40%, if you are leaving it to taxable beneficiaries.

- Charity gifts are free of tax, so if you are leaving your estate to eg your 2 children and a charity in equal shares, the charity’s share is tax free, and any tax payable will be borne by your children’s shares!

- But it’s not all bad - you can use gifts to charity in your Will to bring your estate down below the NRB so that anything you then leave to your children would be totally free of IHT!

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Call Michael Breeze on 07900 195 195 or call 0845 270 2511 to if you need legal advise about any of these issues

Kaslers Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England under LLP no. OC310653; authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under reg no 408936; governed by professional rules set out in the Code of Conduct click here to visit and has its registered office / main trading address at Suite 3, 10 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4YU - tel: +44 (0)845 270 2511; fax: +44 (0)845 270 2513; DX 92863 West Malling.
The LLP Members are Michael D Breeze LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 110184) and Simon McCree Scott LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 298202).