Charities to be Alerted of Legacies in Wills
A new system alerting charities to when they have been left money in wills is to be established by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) following a decision to end its current arrangement.
This has been welcomed by many in the charity sector who are being asked to get involved in shaping the new arrangement.
Previously a paid for service would alert participating charities if a legacy had been bequeathed to them. While this was established in good faith, HMCTS has since found that it is not consistent with the department’s legal duties.
More than 122,000 charitable bequests were contained in wills in 2017 and quite often we have clients who instruct us to partition money to various local charities or indeed other causes close to their heart.
“When a client leaves a percentage or even the whole of their estate to charity the executors ordinarily contact the charity to notify them of their legacy. This is true of all gifts, no matter how big or small.” said Private Client Solicitor at Pearson's
“Also every year we work with charities in our Will Week schemes where solicitors draft Wills and donate their time in exchange for charitable donations,” she added.
Commenting on the proposed changes, HMCTS chief executive, Susan Acland-Hood, said:
“I recognise the value to charities of receiving early notification of bequests left in wills and we are committed to working alongside the sector to establish a new, sustainable arrangement that works for everyone.
Representatives of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, the Institute of Fundraising and the Institute of Legacy Management have been invited to join a working group bringing together views of the sector with the aim of creating a new and sustainable arrangement that will continue to work for all those using the current service.”
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
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