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Leaving a bequest to charity in your will

Can you specify how the money is used?

The majority of us will have had personal experience with specific charities. For many, it is important to support these charities after our death so that their services can continue to provide a benefit and make a difference. Leaving a bequest to a charity in your will is a great way of doing this.

When leaving a bequest, some may have a specific purpose in mind for the bequest they are making. However, it is important to bear in mind that there are a vast number of charities, some with very specific aims and some with a wide and general purpose.

Is it possible therefore, to bequeath money to a charity and specify how they put that money to use? 

The short answer is that in general, it is not possible to specifically direct how you would like your money to be used. This is because once a bequest has been made the funds belong to the charity and they are free to decide how best to use it. Having said this, it is possible to express a wish in your will that the money be used for a specific purpose. This will give the charity a clear idea of how you intended the money to be used even if it is not binding. One of the most common examples that we see is a bequest to a medical charity, with a wish expressed that the money is used for research purposes.

If you are thinking about leaving a bequest to a charity in your will, our friendly personal law team can advise you. Call 888666.

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