10 things to consider when leaving a gift in your Will

Legacy giving is a wonderful thing. After all, doesn’t a life to please Allah (SWT) deserves a legacy to please Allah (SWT)? Here are 10 things to consider when leaving a gift in your Will.

  1. Inform your family

So, you’ve decided to leave a gift in your Will to charity. This is wonderful, but does your family know? Do inform them. This will prevent any disputes or dissatisfaction from cropping up among family members if the instructions in your Will come as a surprise.

  1. Sadaqah or Sadaqah Jariyah?

Consider the kind of legacy you want to leave: Sadaqah or Sadaqah Jariyah?  Sadaqah is a once-off charity. Whereas Sadaqah Jariyah is an ongoing/ceaseless charity. If your gift were to fund a Sadaqah Jariyah cause, like a hospital, which would benefit people for many years, this means you’ll be benefitting from the ongoing blessings of helping the needy even in death.

‘When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah [ceaseless charity]; a knowledge which [he has passed on and] is beneficial; or a virtuous descendant who prays for him.’ (Muslim)

Find out more about funding Sadaqah Jariyah projects with IKCA here.

  1. The tax benefits

A gift in your Will won’t just benefit the needy. It can also have tax benefits for your loved ones. How? Before your assets can be inherited, they will be liable for inheritance tax. But any gift you leave to charity will be taken out of your estate before this. That means the value of inheritance tax your loved ones may have to pay, will be reduced. Some people find this is a good way to bring their estate under the inheritance tax threshold. Find out more by requesting our free Gifts in Wills guide.

  1. …and additional tax benefits

Here is a further incentive for leaving a gift in your Will: according to UK law, leaving 10% (or more) of your estate to charity allows you to benefit from an inheritance tax rate reduction. So, the rate of inheritance tax payable on your estate is reduced from 40% to 36%. Winning! 

  1. What will you gift?

When it comes to legacy giving, many people prefer to gift a fixed sum of money, like £1000, £5000, or £10,000. This is called a pecuniary legacy. But a gift in your Will doesn’t have to be monetary. You can also gift specific assets such as property, stocks, or shares of valuables like jewellery or antiques. This is called a Specific legacy.

  1. Are your loved ones taken care of?

What if you want your loved ones to benefit from your estate before you ultimately gift it to charity? This is possible, and it’s called a gift in trust with reversionary beneficiaries. Leaving a gift in trust means you can leave your estate in trust to a particular person who can benefit from it, and receive income from it, throughout their life. Then, when this person passes away, the assets will pass to other beneficiaries of your choice, called ‘reversionary beneficiaries.’ Many people choose a charity to be the reversionary beneficiary of their gift in trust.

  1. Is the gift in your Will Shariah compliant?

That’s right. It’s entirely possible to overdo a good thing and that’s why Islam is the religion of moderation. According to the Shari’ah, you are able to give up to one-third of your wealth in charity, and no one can dispute this. But the rest of your estate belongs to your inheritors.

If you are very keen on gifting more of your wealth to charity, the Shari’ah makes allowances for this, but there is a condition: you can only do so by providing all your loved ones, who have a right to inherit, accept and support your decision.

  1. Do you need a solicitor to write your Will?

It is possible to write your own Will. But a Will is a legal document. And to be valid, it must meet certain legal requirements. Without a solicitor, it’s easy to make a mistake which could cause your Will to be invalid and/or contested. So, it’s strongly recommended that you seek professional advice and guidance, especially if you want to leave a gift in your Will. IKCA can help put you in touch with the right legal advice. Request our free Gifts in Wills guide to find out more.

  1. What if you already have a Will?

So, if you already have an up-to-date Will, but you’ve decided you’d like to leave a gift to charity. Do you need to have a brand new one written out? Not at all.

You can simply add a codicil. A codicil is a short and simple legal document, which amends your existing Will. But do seek the services of a solicitor to prepare it. Simply making handwritten amendments to your Will, could make the whole thing invalid.

  1. The people you’ll help

Gifts in Wills are the life-force of our life-saving work. They’ve enabled us to provide free cancer care to Pakistan’s poorest in their time of greatest need. Many of the patients who qualify for free treatment at Shaukat Khanum Hospitals simply wouldn’t have a fair chance at recovery if it wasn’t for the Sadaqah and Sadaqah Jariyah of donors.

To find out more about how leaving a gift in your Will could benefit you and others, request our free Gifts in Wills guide here.

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