The recent BBC News Story of Robina Hunter, a 100 year old woman from Newton Stewart in Dumfries and Galloway, who left half of her £1.7m estate to 18 charities, is bound to have caught the eye of those who enjoy a story about a good deed.

However, this also ties into new legislation that will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2012.  The new measures will provide for a reduction in the rate of Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) from 40% to 36% where 10% or more of a deceased person's net estate (after deducting IHT exemptions, reliefs and the nil-rate band) is left to charity.  This measure will apply to deaths on or after 6 April 2012.

This measure could have saved Robina Hunter a significant sum in terms of IHT and the measures have been welcomed by many in the Charities Sector.  John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "The chancellor has delivered for charities and those who want to support them.  The commitment to bring gift aid into the 21st century will revolutionise this important tax relief and go a long way towards reducing the £750m that goes unclaimed each year."