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Good Causes to Donate to in Your Will

As you grow older, or see your parents and grandparents getting older, there are a number of important considerations to make to prepare for the future. These include finding a suitable care home near you, finalising a last will and testament, and deciding whether to leave a donation to a special charity or cause. 

These days there are many possible organisations to choose from, but regardless of who you donate to, you’re guaranteed to be leaving a lasting legacy by doing so.

How to Leave a Gift to Charity in Your Will

Leaving a gift to charity is a relatively simple process. You simply need to make sure you note the name of the charity you would like to gift in your will, as well as their address and registered charity number. If you already have an existing will in place, it’s as simple as writing a codicil, which is a document used specifically for will amendments.

Any donations made to charitable organisations are taken from the total value of your estate before inheritance tax is calculated, and may even reduce or make you exempt from inheritance tax if a substantial percentage of your estate has been left to goodwill.

The Best Charities to Donate to in the UK

When it comes to choosing the best charities to donate to, it all comes down to personal preference. There are no “best” charities, so to speak. Some people may have been closely affected by a medical illness in the family, others may be more inclined to animal causes, or perhaps even volunteered at a beloved charity during the course of their lifetime.

Medical Charities

People often like to donate to medical causes that have personally affected them in some way. Some options to consider for donation include:

The British Heart Foundation, which relies on gifts in wills to fund 50% of their research efforts. Their mission is to work towards a world free of the fear of heart disease by 2030. 

Alzheimer’s Research UK, an organisation working to overcome dementia and alzheimer’s related diseases, uses a third of all donations to fund their research. They believe that finding a cure for these illnesses not only affects the person diagnosed, but also generations to follow.

Macmillan Cancer Support does important work related to cancer treatment and providing support to families affected by the disease. They offer a free will writing service to people wanting to leave them as a legacy contact, which is a useful bonus.

At Westgate we regularly host coffee mornings to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Animal Charities

Animal charities are popular among animal lovers, and often donors leave gifts for national or international causes, as well as local animal shelters they may be familiar with. Some organisations to keep front of mind include:

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which works towards a world where future generations of people, animals and nature are able to thrive. Donations help multiple conservation efforts, such as increasing the number of tigers in Nepal, or combating ongoing deforestation in Brazil.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) spends 90% of their net income on conservation, advocacy and public education. By leaving them a gift, you or your loved one will be helping to create a sustainable earth for all.

The National Animal Welfare Trust accepts donations from wills with the intention to rehome around two thousand animals a year. 70% of their abandoned animals are rehomed with the help of gifts from wills, so your donation will go a long way toward helping furry friends of all shapes and sizes.

Many of our residents are passionate about animals. This summer Kingfisher Nursing Home had a visit from a local bird of prey sanctuary.

Other Good Causes

Aside from medical and animal charities, there are a selection of other charitable gift options for you to consider. These include:

The National Trust, which uses will donations for restoration activities involving beloved local places, including wildlife habitats, restoring renowned international art pieces, or even engaging in repair work on damaged coastal pathways.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) believes that every childhood is worth fighting for. Your gift will literally be helping the children of the future, as we remain mindful of unforeseen environmental and sustainability challenges that they may be facing.

The Royal British Legion serves thousands of families with active or ex-serving members of the military, allowing them to directly benefit from legacy donations to the organisation. All donors are recorded in the “Book of Remembrance”, which is permanently on display in London at their HQ.

We know that supporting the military is an important cause for many residents. At Ashview Nursing Home we remembered 101 years since the start of WWI with crafting sessions. 

When finalising your own will, or helping a parent or grandparent to write theirs, it can be a heartwarming experience to explore some good causes that might benefit from a small gift. Many charities survive on such selfless gestures. 

When you leave money to charity this greatly benefits their mission, making you a hero to those representing a cause and community that might already be close to your own heart, or close to that of a loved one.

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