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Another will question

(13 Posts)
Wingedharpy Sat 22-Apr-17 01:49:27

DH and I are in the process of updating our complicated wills.
We have no children.
My question is, can I leave a percentage of my estate to individuals with a request that they donate a small percentage of that inheritance to a specific cause/charity?
I don't want to leave the percentage directly to the charity in the will as I have heard from others that some charities can be ruthless with bereaved families in trying to get their money.
I appreciate that there would be no guarantee that the beneficiaries would do as I requested but I won't come back and haunt them if they don't.

DevelopingDetritus Sat 22-Apr-17 02:23:35

I don't think that's a good idea at all. A cheque should be sent to which ever charity you would like the money to go to but separate from the other beneficiaries. What sort of things have you heard the charities doing.

stonecircle Sat 22-Apr-17 04:35:44

Ruthless how? Are you suggesting that, if you leave a bequest to a charity in your will, they might get in touch with other beneficiaries/relatives and ask for more money from your estate? confused

prh47bridge Sat 22-Apr-17 10:47:30

I think the OP is referring to the fact that some charities check wills when probate is granted to see if they contain a legacy to the charity and then chase the relatives if the bequest does not turn up in what they regard as a reasonable time. The reason they do this is that some relatives "forget" about the charitable bequest and pocket the money themselves. Some have complained about charities being insensitive dealing with grieving relatives but I wouldn't go so far as to call them ruthless.

The other circumstance in which charities will get involved is if relatives challenge the will in an attempt to reduce or remove the charitable bequests. In that situation the charity will naturally attempt to defend its position.

As long as your executors send the charities their money reasonably promptly there shouldn't be any problems with leaving them something in your will.

Wingedharpy Sat 22-Apr-17 13:01:35

Thanks for your comments.
Some elderly relatives several years ago had issues with a couple of charities who would not allow them to take any momentoes from the home of their deceased relative ,their argument being that all house contents should go to auction as it was part of the estate and therefore should be sold.
The items in question were family pieces of furniture which had great sentimental value but not great monetary worth.
I appreciate that some "grieving" relatives would strip the house bare if given permission to take momentoes thereby reducing the value of the estate to the charities but this was not the intention of my elderly relatives.
I can see that it may be best to stipulate an amount to be given to my good cause however, we don't know what the future holds and what seems to be a generous amount now may be a bit of a pittance in the future.
I was just trying to make a donation without causing a huge amount of hassle to the beneficiaries.

Wingedharpy Sat 22-Apr-17 13:07:27

Ruthless was probably the wrong word but it was late when I posted!

stonecircle Sat 22-Apr-17 15:32:31

Winged - I think the situation you describe is different as it sounds like the charity had been left the whole or a proportion of the estate so they would be trying to maximise what they would get. You are proposing to leave a set sum I think? So all the charity could do is chase the executors if they thought they were being too slow. Which doesn't seem unreasonable.

BackforGood Sat 22-Apr-17 15:56:55

DOn't know, but am wondering if it is possible to leave a sort of "index linked" amount ?

So saying I would like to give a donation to X charity. If I die in 2017, I would like this amount to be £1000, and then proportionally increased in terms of cost of living ???
Maybe there is something you can link it to, such as an average earnings index or those 'cost of a basket of food' type things they talk about, or as a proportion of the cost of something that is easily checkable?

I'm no will writer, but I think this could be a useful idea for them to take on, if it doesn't exist grin

Wingedharpy Sat 22-Apr-17 19:11:37

I did think about that BackforGood.
The issue with doing that was, however, that if one or other of us were to need Nursing home care, our assets could be eaten up quite quickly with fees.
It could then end up that when we die, there would be next to nothing left for family but a chunk of money for the charity.
I suppose I need a lawyer with a crystal ball!

BackforGood Sat 22-Apr-17 19:31:40

Agree - retirement and also death planning would be so much more predictable with a crystal ball smile

DancingLedge Sun 23-Apr-17 16:34:33

Why not just leave a percentage to named charities?
That way, if generally property and other assets rise in value, the charity won't just be left with a pittance, and if there's a big decline in value, then the charity's share has to decline too.

DancingLedge Sun 23-Apr-17 16:42:02

And if your wills are complicated, money spent now on professional assistance will be money well spent, and they will help you achieve what you want to do.

Loathe though I am to make most lawyers richer, saving a bit now could cost SO much more, if you don't get inheritance, IHT, and tax issues right. Self made wills are ok if everything's very simple, there's very small amounts of money, and no property involved. If not, it's sadly very easy to draw up a will that simply doesn't do what you thought it did.

Wingedharpy Sun 23-Apr-17 23:44:58

We do intend to use a lawyer to draw up the will but it will help the process if we know what we want!

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