You may already know that gifts to charities are normally tax exempt, but you may not be aware that by leaving a gift you could benefit from lower taxation on your overall estate. Under current rules, if you give 10% or more of your taxable estate to charitable causes, the portion of your estate which is subject to Inheritance Tax will be charged at the lower rate of 36% as opposed to 40%.
If you plan to create a new will, your first step will be to decide what type of gift you wish to leave. There are three types of gift:
• Pecuniary – a fixed sum of money. We are grateful for any gift, big or small. These gifts are the first to be made from your estate and can be index linked to protect their value.
We suggest the following wording: “I give the sum of [ ] to the Federation of British Artists (registered charity number 200048) of 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD, to hold on trust for its general charitable purposes.”
• Residuary – a share of the residue of your estate, after you have provided for family, for example. These gifts are made from the remainder of your estate, after any costs have been deducted and any pecuniary gifts have been made. A recent donor divided the residue of her estate equally between ten charities, both international and local, whose work was important to her. We were able to use her gift to increase our educational outreach programme.
We suggest the following wording: “I give [ ]% / all [please specify] of the residue of my estate to the Federation of British Artists (registered charity number 200048) of 17 Carlton House Terrace, London W1Y 5BD, to hold on trust for its general charitable purposes.”
• Specific – a gift of a specific item, such as artwork or shares. These gifts can be left to sell, or be held according to your instructions. If you wish to include a gift of this type to the FBA, please speak to us first to ensure we are able to accept such a gift.
We suggest the following wording: “I give [detailed description of the specific item] to the Federation of British Artists (registered charity number 200048) of 17 Carlton House Terrace, London W1Y 5BD, to hold on trust for its general charitable purposes.”
If you have already made a will but would like to amend it to include a gift to the FBA, you can download this codicil form, fill in your wishes and store it safely with, but not attached to, your will. You must sign the codicil in the presence of two independent witnesses. A beneficiary of your will or their spouse or partner cannot witness your codicil. A codicil works particularly well if you wish to add a pecuniary gift. If you wish to amend your residuary gifts, we would recommend having a new will prepared, to avoid any confusion.
We strongly recommend contacting a solicitor when making or updating your will to ensure that it is legally valid and reflects your wishes. A qualified solicitor in your area can be found by searching the Law Society or the Law Society of Scotland.