This Guidance Note: Wills - Wording for Charity Legacies deals with issues
relating to donations to charities of cash legacies by individuals under
In particular, the note explains why and how charities can benefit from
“legacy marketing” as part of their fundraising strategy, i.e. promoting to
existing and potential supporters of their charity the idea and practical
means of giving legacies to the charity.
This Guidance Note gives reasons why a charity should make available to
such actual or potential supporters some specific wording that they can
easily include in their Wills (or Codicils to Wills) where they wish to
leave a legacy to the charity.
It also explains the importance of ensuring that the wording is effective
to leave the intended legacy, and how a legacy can fail (i.e. result in the
charity not receiving any of the legacy) if the wording is not legally
correct. The note summarises a 2020 High Court decision in a case where legacy wording in a will was ambiguous and as result the court
had to grapple with two questions. Firstly, it had to decide how in the case of each legacy the will should be interpreted. Secondly, it had to decide whether or not, given that interpretation, legacies to four different charities in the will would fail.
We recommend to charity trustees that they read this useful background
guidance and that they make use of the ready-made legacy wording which can
be found in this subfolder.
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