More people are leaving donations to charities in their Wills
Donations to charity have increased by over 40% in the last decade according to recent figures from Remember A Charity
Even with cost of living increases, eight out of 10 said they were likely to leave a charitable legacy. Twice as many people said they were more likely to give than last year. Almost a third of UK donors aged over 40 say they have or intend to include a gift to charity in their Will. 

Charitable giving and inheritance tax 

Many people don’t realise inheritance tax (IHT) reduces if 10% or more of their estate goes to charity. You can donate: 
a fixed amount 
an item 
what remains after making other bequests. 
Seven out of 10 solicitors and Will-writers tell people about the IHT benefits of leaving a gift to charity. That’s an increase from six out of 10 in 2013. Often, they raise the option of charitable donations at an early stage, but one in 10 still say they never mention it to clients. 
Gifts in Wills are the largest single source of voluntary income for charities in the UK. They provide £3.4billion annually to fund the services they provide. 
In the UK, tax relief makes charitable gifts in Wills one of the most efficient ways to donate. That’s because they are exempt from the 40% IHT that applies to estates above the nil rate thresholds. A donation of 10% or more of the whole value of an estate reduces IHT to 36% on what’s left. 

Making a difference 

The number and value of donations are predicted to continue increasing in coming years. Legacy income for charities grew by 6.5% in 2022/23 to an estimated £4billion from 140,000 bequests. 
However, several things affect charitable donations, including: 
economic conditions 
delays in estate administration such as the registration of deaths 
estate valuations 
IHT assessments. 
Due to backlogs up to 70,000 charitable bequests, possibly amounting to £900million, might still need processing. 
House prices affect the average value of charitable legacies and slow property sales delay gifts reaching charities. The average value of bequests could rise by 13% each year as the value of property and the size of people’s estates increases. 
In real terms, predicted legacy income could reach over £6billion by 2050. This is due to an expected rise in deaths, along with a return to house price growth from 2025/26. 
If you’re considering gifts to charities in your Will your choices will affect the long-term impact you will make. 
If you would like to update your Will or write a new Will that includes a charitable donation please get in touch. 
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