A will is a legal document that sets out your wishes regarding the distribution of your wealth and possessions. It is also where you can include a charitable legacy once loved ones have been provided for.
A charitable legacy is a gift of money, property or an item left to an organisation in a will. This type of giving to charity is commonly referred to as gifts in wills. Gifts in wills can be left to parish churches, cathedrals and dioceses and are exempt from inheritance tax.
Each year around 4,000 people leave a gift in their will to their church, funding mission projects, maintaining beautiful church buildings and growing faithful communities. For many people, leaving a gift in their will is a final opportunity to make a lasting gift to God.
Many supporters would like to know how they could leave a gift in their will to their parish church but may not know how or who to speak to. It is important for all churches to make information available and to inspire members about the difference gifts in wills, no matter how large or small, can make.
Encouraging Gifts in Wills to your Church
To find out more about gifts in wills get a copy of our free PCC Legacy Toolkit
Make and communicate a Legacy Policy for your parish church (example template)
Make literature available at the back of your church (there’s plenty of free literature available)
Make information available on your church website (there’s also a national website you can link to)
Share a story of how the church has benefitted from a gift in the past
Share a story of how your church could benefit from future gifts
Did you know, for nearly 500 years the Church of England has encouraged people to make a will as a simple act of good Christian stewardship? Learn more about why every Christian should have a will
People often ask who would receive a charitable legacy if left to a parish church - the vicar or churchwarden perhaps? The correct answer is the Parochial Church Council (PCC), they are the proper receiving body of a gift in a will. l If named in a will, the PCC will need to liaise with the Executor to administer the legacy gift correctly. Learn more about how PCCs administer gifts in wills