The benefits of gifting to charity in your will

Charities (both large and small) have particularly struggled during the pandemic with plummeting incomes. The large cancer charities, for example, have been unable to run their usual sponsored runs etc. A lot of charities are dependent upon gifts (both in wills and otherwise) to support their running costs.

It’s not uncommon to leave a gift to charity in your will. Not only are you able to leave money to a cause close to your heart, but you could also reduce your inheritance tax bill.

Gifts in wills are entirely free of inheritance tax

You can also reduce your overall inheritance tax liability on your estate by leaving at least 10% of your estate to charity (rate of tax reduced from 40% to 36%). One quite common feature in wills (involving charities), is where the testator leaves everything to specified beneficiaries (up to the maximum they can leave tax free), with the remainder going to charities, to ensure that their estate is entirely free of inheritance tax.

How much should you gift?

Gifts in wills vary from £50 up to several million. It really doesn’t matter how little or how much you leave. The most important thing is that you have fully considered a gift to charity when making a will and then choose your charity (or charities) and the amount which is entirely up to you.

Summary of key benefits of gifting to charities

  • You are helping support a cause close to your heart
  • This gift, in the case of smaller charities, could literally mean the difference between closure or staying open. Plus, never forget that all those smaller gifts cumulatively add up, and can, in total translate into a large percentage of the charity’s income
  • You are potentially reducing your inheritance tax liability on your total estate



Andrew Gullett

Solicitor at King Street Solicitors in Wakefield, specialising in family and older client law.

Andrew is a highly experienced solicitor (qualified 2001) with a particular interest and expertise of dealing with more vulnerable clients, especially those living with dementia. This is a local firm which prides itself on it’s personal one-to-one service and high levels of client satisfaction. Andrew prefers, where possible, to offer the client a fixed fee at the outset, unlike many solicitors who still charge on a hourly basis. 

More details are available at