Being the executor of someone’s estate can be a richly rewarding experience. You’ll be in charge of making sure their final wishes are carried out as they had planned. But what happens when the person you are acting on behalf of has left a gift to a charity (this is called a legacy)? Where do you start? What are your responsibilities? Who should you speak to first?

The first thing you need to do is not to be overwhelmed by the process. Although there is no doubt that this role carries considerable responsibilities, it need not be a daunting process. To help you on your way we have produced this downloadable booklet that offers help and advice when registered charities are named beneficiaries. It introduces the main points about charities as beneficiaries, which you need to be aware of right from the start.

These notes principally relate to the estates of people domiciled in England and Wales, but the principles (and all of the tax information) relate equally to Scotland. Whilst it covers most aspects of the administration, you may need to seek more specialised professional help if complications arise. For example, if the person owned assets abroad you are strongly advised to consult an expert in this field but the cost of that help will almost certainly come from estate funds.