Friday, 19 October 2007

Thinking of others

Shropshire residents should consider leaving a donation to charity in their will to help avoid Inheritance Tax - that's the advice from Fiona MacNamara, from our wills and probate team.

“Gifts left to registered charities are exempt from Inheritance Tax, which makes them particularly good news for people whose estate is valued over the current £300,000 threshold.

“But they’re not just for the very wealthy – all kinds of people leave legacies as their way of helping good causes which are particularly special to them, such as children’s charities, or organisations which support cancer sufferers, the elderly, or animals.”

Fiona said the first step before you decide to leave a legacy was to check that the organisation had charitable status and was registered in the UK. "It’s then important that you ensure you keep your will up-to-date, as these decisions will play a key role in your future financial planning.

“And don’t be concerned that your legacy may not run into millions, charities are very grateful for anything they receive, and when the donations from several individuals are added together, they can have a massive impact.”

Fiona also said that many people who decide to leave money to charities are often elderly people who do not have any family.

“But there is an increasing number of people who want to help good causes and take advantage of the fact that charities do not face Inheritance Tax charges on legacies. The donation will also be excluded from any calculations to decide what Inheritance Tax charges your family will face after you die too.

“So not only can you help a good cause by leaving a legacy, you can also use it to help protect your family from escalating costs.”