Financial benefits of leaving a gift in your Will

Inheritance Tax 


Lots of people worry about inheritance tax, but the good news is that by leaving a gift to ZSL in your Will you could help to reduce, even remove, the tax burden on your estate.

Inheritance tax may be payable on the value of a person's estate when they pass away, if the value of the estate exceeds the inheritance tax threshold (known as the nil rate band) set by the Government. Currently the inheritance tax threshold remains frozen at £325,000, and any amount above this would be potentially taxed at a rate of 40% depending on who receives the estate. 

UK- registered charities are exempt from inheritance tax, so a gift to your charity in your Will is tax-freeboth for hte charity and your estate. For example, if your estate is worth £10,000 more than the tax threshold and, assuming Inheritance Tax is payable on your estate is worth £10,000 more than the tax threshold, and assuming Inheritance Tax is payable on your estate and is at 40% (the current rate), at the time of your death there would be Inheritance Tax of £4,000 (40% of £10,000) to be paid out of the estate. But, if you made a cash gift to ZSL of £10,000, the notional value of your estate would be reduced by that amount and there would be no tax to pay. Also, to encourage charitable giving, the rate of inheritance tax is reduced from 40% to 30% when at least 10% of the net estate is left to charity. 

Inheritance tax is a complex issue and your solicitor or financial advisor can advise you on the best way to take advantage of any financial benefits that may be relevant to you and your estate, including changes to tax rates when including family members as recipients in your Will. As a charity, we cannot offer legal or tax advice, and we recommend speaking with your solicitor if you wish to make or update your Will. 


Contact us

We would love to hear from you and talk through any questions you may have about leaving a gift in your Will. You can contact us on 020 7449 6487 or by email on You can also write to us at ZSL Fundraising, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY.