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If you leave a gift to a charity or Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) in your will, its value will be deducted from your estate (your money, possessions and property) before Inheritance Tax is worked out. Gifts made before your death may also qualify for exemption.
If your estate is liable to Inheritance Tax, you could reduce the amount due by choosing to give money to charity.
You can either leave a fixed sum (known as a 'Pecuniary Legacy'), or part or all of your estate once other gifts have been distributed (known as a 'Residuary Legacy').
You can do this through your will, or by a declaration to the executors or personal representatives giving instructions as to how you would like your legacy to be distributed. If you are leaving money to charity, make it clear exactly which charity you want to receive your gift (and specify a local branch if necessary).
Gifts made to a charity or CASC in the seven years before your death are exempt from Inheritance Tax.
You can get free and independent advice about making a will from organisations like Citizens Advice and Age Concern.
You can also write your own will on a pre-printed form available from stationery shops.
It is a good idea to use a solicitor, or have a solicitor check a will that you have drawn up, to ensure that it's valid and that your wishes are carried out.
For more help you can contact the Charities Helpline.