As a nation, we’re an extremely charitable bunch. In 2017, the British public gave nearly £10 billion to their favourite causes – and a significant chunk of that was donated by people as part of their will, putting paid to that common myth that only the rich and famous leave money to charity when they die. The reality is without the gifts left in wills by people like you and me, many of the charities we know today wouldn't even exist.

When asked, 35% of people in the UK say they'd happily leave a gift in their will once provision had been made for family and friends had been provided. Unfortunately, only 7% actually follow though on this. Legacy income is the largest single source of voluntary income to the charity sector and is vital to the survival of many charities.

After you’ve taken care of loved ones, you may wish to leave a gift in your will to a charity close to your heart or whose work from whom you may have benefitted. It can be both a way of saying thank you and ensuring that support for others continues into the future.

As well as being of significant value to your chosen charity there are also positive financial benefits to leaving part of your estate to charity. Leaving money to charity can be a way of reducing how much of your estate ends up with the Tax Man. Not only will any portion left to charity not count towards the total taxable value of your estate, but if you leave at least 10 per cent of your net estate to charity then you can cut the rate of inheritance tax you pay.

Legacy gifts that can be left could include a share of your estate after friends and family have been provided for, cash gifts for specific amounts or individual items that can be sold on behalf of the charity. It is also possible to leave ‘conditional’ gifts that are made only if, for example, all other beneficiaries named in your will die before you.

Leaving a legacy to a charity can be as straightforward as including a simple sentence in your will, but it is recommended you always seek professional advice when making a will. To include a legacy gift in your inheritance provisions you will need the full name, address and registered charity number of your chosen charity ahead of contacting your professional advisor.

If you need any inspiration there are some great stories of unusual legacies out there.

Businessman Richard Colton left 2 rare Ferraris to the RNLI in his will which raised over £8million. He had hoped the sales would raise enough money to fund a new lifeboat to be named after him and his late wife Caroline. Described as "a shy and private man", he was said to be nervous of the sea.

If you are considering leaving a legacy to the CSF Leak Association the information you will need can be found below:

CSF Leak Association - The Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Charity Registered charity number SC046319
PO Box 5761
IV15 0AQ

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You can support the mission of the CSF Leak Association in many different ways. If you want to help you can find out how by following the links and deciding which method fits you best. We appreciate any help you are able to give..

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