Fundraising is always a challenge for charities but as many of us are tightening our purse strings, good causes are now feeling the pinch even more. Julie Harrigan, Wills specialist at Collas Crill, explains why charities rely on legacies.

  1. Why are legacies important to charities?

A gift or donation made in a will to a charity - a legacy - is often the bread and butter of charities. In the current financial climate, charities are feeling the pinch - but even small legacies soon add up and can make a huge difference, enabling the charity to continue its good work. In some cases legacies have, in fact, saved local charities from having to close.

  1. How do I leave a legacy to my chosen charity?

It is very simple. All you need to do is ensure that there is a clause in your will where you specify the item, or the value of the legacy, you wish to leave and which charity you wish to benefit. The value is up to you; legacies can range from small amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds, or even your house. No matter how big or small, charities will be grateful of the support.

  1. Can I specify exactly where and what the gift is to be used for in my will?

Yes. However, it’s important that you are realistic and that your request can’t be misinterpreted or burden the charity, instead of benefitting it. This is something that professional will advisors deal with everyday and so they can advise you on your specific requests.

  1. I already have a will, how can I add a legacy to it?

If you have a will in place and don’t want to go to the trouble of drafting a new one then a Codicil can be made, which allows a legacy to be left to your chosen charity. A Codicil is simply an addition to your will that allows you to make changes without having to write a new one. However, if you want to make substantial changes, we would suggest drafting a new will.