Alex Truesdale - sweet charity

Alex Truesdale 
April 2023  •  10 min read

Sweet Charity

Will writer Alex Truesdale has championed the inclusion of charitable giving in Wills since joining the “Remember a Charity in your Will” campaign in 2011. Alex prepared a Will for veteran stuntman Rocky Taylor, including a gift to the Variety Club of Great Britain, which he signed shortly before recreating an infamous stunt involving jumping off a 40 foot high inferno at Battersea Power Station.

Ten years later, the devastating impact of COVID upon the third sector means that it is ever more reliant on charitable donations – of which legacy giving makes up 16%. Thankfully HMRC recognises the importance of charitable giving, allowing an unlimited inheritance tax (“IHT”) exemption on gifts to UK registered charities – saving 40% IHT.

We asked Alex for her top tips when considering including legacies to charity in your Will:  

  • Remember to check that your chosen charity has been officially recognised and has a Registered Charity Number or “RCN” – this also helps with the identification of the recipient organisation if there has been a name change or an amalgamation;
  • If you wish to donate internationally, contact the charity – it may be possible to make the donation through a UK local branch or recipient charity in order to qualify for the IHT exemption;
  • Consider a Letter of Wishes to specify how you would like your donation to be applied by the recipient charity – you may wish to specify that it is directed to “charitable purposes” only, or to support a particular campaign or project, instead of covering administrative and staff costs;
  • Donations of 10% or more of your overall estate will not only qualify for an IHT exemption but, if drafted correctly, can also entitle your estate to a discounted rate of IHT of 36% on non exempt gifts, effectively bringing the estate’s tax bill down by 10%. You can consider capping the gift in the interests of certainty but remember this might cause the loss of the discounted IHT rate if your estate value rose by the time of your death;
  • If you are considering a donation of a percentage of your total estate, ramping this up from single digit percentages to 10% can result in a win-win whereby the charity (and in certain circumstances, your remaining beneficiaries!) all receive more at the expense of HMRC;
  • And finally…never leave your executors in the invidious position of having to decide which charitable beneficiaries should benefit in your Will. Once Wills are admitted to probate they are public documents – this can lead to a flood of “begging letters” by charities keen to press their case.

For further details or to order a copy of Alex Truesdale Wills Limited’s brand new 36-page Client Guide please contact Alex on 07887 946557 or

*Please note that this content has been taken from our Autumn 2021 Spotlight edition, facts & figures may have altered*