Charity begins at home
According to the World Giving Index 2011, the UK is the fifth most charitable nation in the world. Even in the present climate, 79 per cent of us give millions every month to worthwhile causes.
But interestingly, research shows that most of our giving is done during our lifetimes. The tradition of leaving money in our wills to charity seems to have lapsed to some extent.
The new rules on charitable exemption and inheritance tax (IHT) rates should help to boost the amount charities receive through bequests in people’s wills.
If your estate is over the IHT threshold available at the time of your death, it will attract IHT at the normal rate of 40 per cent. By leaving 10 per cent of your net estate (ie the value of your estate after IHT, debts and liabilities) to charity, you will pay IHT at 36 per cent instead of the 40 per cent rate.
So, by leaving something in your will to a favourite charity on your death, it can actually mean there will be more to leave. Those closest to you will benefit from the lower tax rate on your estate.
In a business context, Willans has always been keen to support worthwhile charities. We raise money each year for a different good cause.
This year, for the first time, we are also taking part in the hugely popular national Will Aid scheme which runs throughout November. During the whole of the month, we will waive our fee for making a basic will. Instead, clients will be invited to make a donation to the charity.
Will Aid acts as a great incentive. Not only will it give you a nudge to get round to making a will, but you will also be helping transform the lives of people in this country and around the world.
Will Aid is a campaign run by nine of the UK’s best known charities, including British Red Cross, Save the Children, NSPCC, ActionAid and Age UK.
If you would like to take advantage of the Will Aid scheme, please contact a member of our wills, trusts & probate team.