Charitable legacy analyst Smee & Ford has revealed figures from its annual Legacy Trends report showing that more gifts were left to charities in Wills in England and Wales in 2022 than ever before.

Out of 231,582 estates that were processed where a Will had been made, 36,992 estates left a gift to charity.

Smee & Ford estimated in September 2022 that the total value of charitable estates would be £20bn. In fact, the final figure exceeded this, at £21.3bn, the highest annual sum on record.

The number of individual bequests within charitable estates for the year was also the highest ever recorded at 123,298.

Substantial individual sums were left to charities in Wills during the year, with 31% of legacy income coming from bequests worth over £500,000. A further 22% came from bequests worth between £100,000 and £250,000. This means that over half of the charitable income from Wills in 2022 was derived from bequests worth over £100,000.

Smee & Ford conservatively estimate that the total value left to charities in 2022 will be around £3.5bn.

Leaving a gift to charity in your Will

Remembering one or more charities in your Will is a good way to help an organisation that may have benefited you or your loved ones during your life. Charities rely heavily on money left to them in Wills and your donation will be very much appreciated.

You can leave a specific sum of money or a percentage of the value of your estate. It is also open to you to leave them a valuable item or property.

If you wish to specify what your money can be used for, you are advised to speak to the charity beforehand. If they are not able to use the money in the way that you want, the gift to them may fail entirely.

Gifts left to charities do not attract Inheritance Tax. Furthermore, if you leave 10% or more of your taxable estate to charity, the rate of Inheritance Tax payable will be reduced from 40% to 36%.


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