Legacy administration

Legacy administration

"Market commentators highlight Charlotte Dunn as being "responsive and approachable, very focused and client driven." "

Chambers UK

Legacies (essentially gifts made to charities in Wills) are a vital means of funding for both national and local charities.

With UK charities receiving an estimated £2 billion from legacies each year, gifts bequeathed to charities in Wills usually take one of the following forms:

  • Pecuniary legacy - a specified sum left in a Will;
  • Specific legacy - a gift of a particular item (e.g. a painting);
  • Contingent legacy - a gift dependent on certain conditions being fulfilled; and
  • Residuary bequest - a share of what is left in the estate once all liabilities, pecuniary and specific legacies have been provided for.

Partnership with the Institute of Legacy Management

Shoosmiths LLP is a corporate partner of the Institute of Legacy Management (ILM), the membership body for those professionals responsible for the successful and sensitive administration of a donor's final wish to make a gift to a charitable organisation. We have vast experience in assisting to ensure that every donor's charitable legacy achieves its greatest potential.

Our large, specialist, Wealth Protection team is able to deal with all aspects of charity legacy work, including but not limited to the following:

  • Dealing with the administration of an estate involving charitable beneficiaries;
  • Extracting grants of probate/ letters of administration on behalf of charities;
  • Advising upon estate accounts;
  • Providing tax advice in respect of complex estates; and
  • Acting as administrator of an estate involving charity beneficiaries (where, for example, the executor has renounced probate or is unable or unwilling to act).

Philanthropic giving

We also advise philanthropic individuals on the best way to make charitable gifts and to leave charitable legacies. Shoosmiths sits on the Camelot panel for high value National Lottery and Euromillions winners. Many of these clients want to 'give something back' from their win by donating to charities or setting up a charity for a cause that is close to their heart.


For further information about how we can assist your charity or not-for-profit organisation in respect of its legacy work, contact Angela Bowman on 03700 86 8244 or by email at [email protected].