Protecting Charitable Legacies

Legacies left to charities in wills are one of the biggest sources of funding for charities and enable them to carry out their work. As such, where a charity is a beneficiary under a will, it is important for them to have legal representation to ensure that their interests under that will are properly protected.

The Wills, Trusts and Inheritance Disputes team are experienced in helping to protect charitable legacies. We can advise if an estate has been badly administered or not administered at all.

To speak to a solicitor about protecting a charitable legacy, get in touch with us today by calling 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, fill in our online contact form and we will get back to you.

What to Do When a Charitable Legacy is Contested

In the event that a will containing a legacy to a charity is contested, that charity could end up losing out on either all or a significant part of an estate. This could occur either where there is a claim that a will is invalid, or where there is a claim by a party for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, also known as the Inheritance Act.

It is important to set out that the starting point under English law is that a testator has complete testamentary freedom as to whom he or she leaves his or her estate.

In the event of a claim brought by a party under the Inheritance Act, it will be crucial to fully set out the needs and resources of the charity who may miss out. It is particularly important in claims where the claimant is limited to reasonable maintenance only; for example, where the needs of children or an unmarried partner are being considered.

At present, there is no set criteria as to what constitutes reasonable financial maintenance and, as such, it will be for a judge to determine what, in their opinion, meets that threshold in each case.

The need for clear, professional advice is therefore paramount in order to protect a charitable interest.

Our Services

The team at JMW provide advice on a variety of issues in relation to charitable legacies, including:

  • Defending claims under the Inheritance Act
  • Making challenges to the validity of a will
  • Bringing claims related to the interpretation and construction of a will
  • Defending proprietary estoppel claims
  • Making claims against executors or trustees

Why Choose JMW?

Our team are experienced in providing practical and cost-effective legal advice to charities in dispute. We are committed to finding a resolution through mediation or other alternative dispute resolutions (ADR). With our assistance, you can prevent the unnecessary escalation of costs and manage the risk of adverse publicity.

Talk to Us

If your charity is a beneficiary in a will, or a will has been contested, our team is here to help. Contact us today by calling 0345 872 6666 or fill in our online contact form and we will get back to you.

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