A lot of us tend to be reluctant to think about what happens after we die. This is a natural part of life. Yet, when we start to think about our own death in a practical way we start to consider different things. There are many things we might want to put in place to make things easier for our loved ones when we're gone. Whether this is getting money in place for funeral costs or just making tough decisions for them. One thing that some people might have considered is leaving part of their estate to charity. There are plenty of great causes out there that can really make a difference. Going about donating this as part of your estate is relatively straightforward. It may also have some other benefits to consider depending on the size of your estate.
Why donate money to charity in your will?
It goes without saying that charities can find it tough to survive at the best of times. This is why it’s important to remember that even a small amount can make a big difference. Right now times are tough and more people in the UK are turning to charities for support. Charities are struggling right now so even making a small donation could be crucial.
Another aspect to consider when donating money to charity is that your gift will not be taxed. If you donate more than 10% of your estate the inheritance tax will also be reduced from 40% to 36%. The 40% of taxation currently applies to estates that are valued over £325,000. This is at the higher end but by donating money to a charity you could end up saving your loved ones a lot of money.
How do you leave money to charity in your will?
There are two different ways you can go about donating money to charity in your Will. You can either specifically name in the charity in your Will that the money will go to. Or alternatively, you can let the beneficiaries of your Will decide for you. The important thing to remember with anything to do with a legal document like a Will is to get legal help if you need it. If you decide to get insured with British Seniors you can avail of your very own free Will kit. This can help you to make decisions on what happens to your estate should you pass away.
Can you leave all of your estate to charity?
You can leave your entire estate to charity. In the UK there is something called ‘testamentary freedom’. What this boils down to is that you’re free to give your estate to whoever you’d like. Donating your entire estate should come with some considerations though. If you didn’t leave something in your Will for your family members they could go to court and get some of the money they feel they are entitled to. This kind of financial support is known as a ‘reasonable provision’. It can be contested by your spouse, children or other family members. To take steps to prevent this, you should let them know ahead of time what you are planning and why you are planning it. In some cases, your loved ones could presume that you could have been forced to make the decision.
You should bear in mind that even if you make all these things clear to your family they can still contest your Will. In this case, it could be an option to include some small provision for them in the Will.
What are some of the charities that you can donate your estate to?
The choice is really up to you. Choosing the right charity to donate to is a personal choice. It doesn’t have to be a major charity or even for an issue that is going on at the moment. One option could be to look at a charity that helps with an issue that’s close to your heart. If you’re an animal lover it could be an environmental charity. It could be a cause related to a disease that has affected you directly.
How do you know if a charity is legitimate?
Currently, there are 168,000 registered charities in the UK. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scams out there. A vital step to take when donating money to charity is to make sure that your chosen charity is legitimate. Luckily this is easy enough, you can search on the charity register on the government website. This added step can help you make sure that your money is doing good after you pass away.
Start thinking about your legacy
No matter what you decide to do with your estate there is plenty of help out there for you. Starting the planning process can be a crucial step in helping your family. At British Seniors, we are here to support you along the way. Our UK-based call centre can talk you through your life insurance options. If you decide to go with British Seniors as your life insurance provider, you can get a free Will kit. This Will Kit is available with each policy type including Over 50 Life Insurance.