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Why I Would Not Gift To Charities In My Will

Posted: Tuesday, 14 November 2023 @ 10:33

From time to time, my firm does probate work and one of the scenarios we encounter is a Deceased Estate where the testator(the person writing the will) has gifted a portion of his or her Estate to a Charity.

It is all very noble to gift some of your hard won cash to a Charity but from experience the lay people Executors who have had to deal with Charities do not necessarily appreciate this step.

On the one hand if as Executor of a Deceased Estate you have a Charity beneficiary, you are tapping in to expertise which can be helpful in concluding the Estate.

More compellingly the Estate can benefit from a reduction in the inheritance tax paid(assuming the Estate is liable) if a certain percentage of the Estate is paid to charities.    

All well and good.

On the other hand, the lay Executor(and often a main beneficiary) will have less room for manoeuvre how they deal with the Estate and they really will have to ensure that everything is done to the eleventh degree. 

At a time when the lay Executor may be legally inexperienced and going through a grieving process this is a hassle that he or she can do without.

What I have found is that my clients who have gone through the process of having to deal with Estates which have a charity dynamic tend to find it more difficult than they expected.   

By all means gift to a Charity but you may want to look at other ways to do so or consciously consider what you are putting someone through as your Executor.