Why you should leave money to charity
Although over 70 per cent of people in this country give money to charitable causes, only four per cent give a legacy to charities after their death. So you want to help poorer people when you are alive, but ignore their plight when you go...of course not.
Reasons for leaving money to charities
There are good reasons to leave money to charities:
- Generosity and philanthropy: Giving financial support to organisations that help others;
- Tax reduction: leaving a legacy to charity can reduce your estate for inheritance tax purposes;
- Previous giving: if you regularly donate money to a charity - and you are happy with how that charity is performing its charitable work - it makes sense to leave it money to assist it continue its work;
- Gratitude: if a health care charity, such as Macmillan Nurses, or a local hospice, has helped or is helping you or a loved one, you can express your thanks by leaving money to that organisation;
- Defeating illness: if you have suffered from a chronic or terminal illness, donate to the appropriate research charity;
- Family reasons: relatives and close friends can’t argue with each other or be jealous if you decide that charities are more deserving of your estate.
There are a number of excellent websites that make it easy to give to charities in a considered and informed way. Among these are Remember A Charity; Charity Giving; Charities Aid Foundation; and Philanthropy Capital.
Most charities now make it easy to leave legacies by using their websites. However, you might want to help a small local charity or one whose funds are so limited they cannot afford such fundraising activities.
Explain to others
If you decide to leave money to charity, it might upset family members.
To avoid this, you should explain why you are leaving money to charity and why you have chosen a particular charity or charities.
Put the reasons for this in your Lifebox, as it will make it less likely that someone will challenge your decision to leave part of your estate to charity.
The person you nominate as the second key holder, your executor in most cases, will be the only person able to open it when your death has been confirmed, or if you give permission.
You can instruct your executor to give copies of your explanation to the relevant family members.
You can increase the money you give to charities by instructing people to donate to your chosen charity or good cause instead of buying funeral flowers.
You can also organise a memorial (or celebratory) party and instruct your family or executor to use it as a fund raising event by having a ticket price and auctions. The money raised can then go to your chosen charity.
Add this to your funeral wishes and put in your Lifebox so that your executor knows how you want your death to benefit those at need.