Gifts in wills are so important to charities

Helen Bunker from Blake Morgan solicitors
Helen Bunker from Blake Morgan solicitors
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You don’t have to be rich or famous to leave a legacy to charity in your will.

This week we are marking Remember a Charity in your Will week by urging people to take the time to support good causes with a legacy.

High-profile legacies this year include actor Alan Rickman, who reportedly left £100,000 to charity in his will.

And, going back 400 years ago to 1616, the most famous playwright of all time, William Shakespeare, left £10 to ‘the poor of Stratford’ – a very handsome sum at the time.

But anyone can leave a charitable gift in their will, however large or small.

During Remember a Charity in Your Will week, the Portsmouth office will be offering £250 off wills to clients where they make a donation to their charity of the year, Minstead Training Trust.

The offer comes as research shows charities are crying out for help and are hugely reliant on the legacies.

Gifts in wills are still the foundation of many of Britain’s charities, creating almost £2bn each year – the equivalent of 19 Comic Reliefs.

As a partner and head of private law, specialising in wills, I realise how important legacies are.

Remembering a charity in your will is one way of helping to secure the future for the good causes that you support.

So many charities rely on legacies and the number of gifts they receive can mean the difference between them thriving or really struggling to survive.

It’s also important to get the right advice to make sure that the gift you leave goes where it was intended.

Around three quarters of the UK population supports charities and when asked, almost half of those people say they would be happy to leave a charitable gift in their will once family and friends are provided for.

Unfortunately very few people actually put the plans in place to leave a charitable gift.

If just four per cent more of us did, it would generate an extra £1bn for UK charities every year.

This is the seventh year of Remember A Charity’s legacy giving week, during which charities, solicitors and will-writers will all come together to encourage the public to leave a gift to charity in their will.

For information on leaving a will call (023) 9222 1122 or e-mail info@blakemorgan.co.uk.

Alternatively, go to rememberacharity.org.uk.