charitable legacies

Leaving legacies to hospitals

We’ve all heard of charitable legacies, and how the government has introduced financial benefits to those who leave a portion of their estate to charity.  However, it seems that many of us are choosing instead to leave our money to hospitals.

Never heard of leaving legacies to hospitals?  Recent news revealed that Welsh hospitals in particular, have been left almost £9m in legacies, over the last three years.

The hospitals directly benefit from additional funding which is not met by the NHS.

A spokesperson for one campaign fund stated that the money can go towards providing additional research into specific diseases or conditions, life saving equipment or additional training.  Alternatively, it can also be spent on other useful resources such as providing or furnishing relatives’ rooms and waiting areas.

If you’re thinking of leaving a legacy to a hospital, notify your will writer who will be able to advise you of the details and benefits.

Plans to protect charitable legacies

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has this week revealed proposals to develop regulations for the Will writing industry, on the back of findings which give examples of how poor advice has negatively affected many charitable legacies.
Around one third of the charities interviewed had been affected by a poorly drafted Will. Over ten percent had not received a legacy initially due to them, over one third finally received a reduced legacy and almost half had experienced undue delays, with more again having to pay for legal costs to receive anything at all.
With recent government legislation indicating that less Inheritance Tax will be paid on Estates which leave a legacy to charity, it is vital that steps are taken to ensure that those preparing a Will receive the best and most accurate advice.
Views on possible steps for regulation are being accepted until 16 July. What would you suggest? A regulated industry body? Strict legal criteria on who can provide this service? With cases being reported weekly of fraudulent probate solicitors and those offering poor advice, it seems that the suggestion to restrict probate services to law firms is extremely short sighted and dangerous, no doubt leading to higher fees and potentially a drop in the standard of specialist advice being provided.


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