Around this time of year many charities offer a free Will writing services in Bristol. In this article, Rose & Trust of Bristol look at the pros and cons of making a Will in this way.

It is true to say there is no such thing as a free lunch, and of course the charity is hoping, and often insists, that a bequest is left to them. If you are of a mind to leave a gift in any event, it might well be a good fit, however we do advise on you checking a few points before agreeing to the service.

Firstly it would be important to check what can be covered with their legal Wills. You would expect that nomination of Executors, Guardians, specific gifts and distribution of the residual estate, would be covered. However it is unlikely the Will would include Trusts. Specifically, lifetime interest trusts, right to reside trusts, disabled beneficiary trusts, discretionary trusts and property protection trusts, would not be included and an additional fee would likely apply.

Secondly, a thorough fact find for tax purposes would not be included. Tax advantages do apply and your donation will either be taken off the value of your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated or it reduces your Inheritance Tax rate, if 10% or more of your estate is left to charity. The reduction is from 40% to 36%. And you can donate in a number of ways such as a fixed amount, an item or what is left after other gifts have been given out.

When writing your Will in Bristol with the intention of leaving a charitable gift, it is important to ensure the details of the charity are correct, such as the charity number, and you may wish to leave specific instructions on how the gift is spent. You may also wish to check with your family to ensure they are happy with such a gift. It is possible that a family member will dispute the legal Will prepared by the charity if they feel they have not be adequately provided for under the terms of the document.

The free Will service offered by charities can be a very helpful way for a charity to raise funds, however it is likely that anything other than a simple Will would attract additional fees. Ensure you are fully aware of the scope of the service before agreeing to their help. Rose & Trust of Bristol offer fixed fee Wills and can draft any charitable gift you wish to make, whilst providing the necessary tax advice. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out more.