Administering an estate

Being an executor carries a lot of responsibility at a difficult time.Advice for professionals and executors on leaving a legacy.

This section provides assistance with the administration of an estate. For more information on the responsibilities of executors (where there is a valid Will) and administrators (where there is no Will) see HMRC's information on inheritance tax. RNIB recommends best practice set out in 'Charities as Beneficiaries' published by the Private Client Section of The Law Society. This booklet is designed to provide a helpful reference during the administration of estates involving charitable beneficiaries. If you are a solicitor or professional advisor we can support you in preparing a Will.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is usually paid on an estate when somebody dies. It's also sometimes payable on trusts or gifts made during someone's lifetime. Most estates don't have to pay IHT because they're valued at less than the threshold. If the estate - including any assets held in trust and gifts made within seven years of death - is more than the threshold, tax is payable at 40 per cent. However, anyone who leaves 10 per cent or more of their net estate to charity can choose to pay a reduced rate of IHT of 36 per cent. 

If you need any further advice or assistance with regards to calculating and apportioning IHT, please contact Liz Parry on 01733 375 229 or email elizabeth.parry@rnib.org.uk. Visit HMRC's website for more information.

Payments from an estate to RNIB

When you are in a position to make a payment from the estate, please contact us so that we can advise you on the best way to do this. We can also offer guidance if a legacy has been left to a specific fund or area of RNIB's work and you are unsure who to make the payment to.

All payments from estates with an expressed wish to benefit RNIB Sunshine Home for Blind Babies, Sunshine House Schools or the Sunshine Fund can be made payable to RNIB. This gift will then be allocated towards our specialist educational facilities for blind and partially sighted children and young people with complex needs

Unclaimed client account funds

The Solicitors' Account Rules provide that practices can donate unclaimed client funds to charities. Donations of dormant funds provide a welcome contribution to our income. As unclaimed client account balances cannot be used for any other purpose, they can be a burden due to the annual auditor accounts they require. RNIB provides vital services for blind and partially sighted people in the UK but can only reach one in three of the people who need our help most. If you hold funds in dormant accounts, we would be very grateful if you will consider passing them to us (for amounts exceeding £50 we are happy to give a suitable indemnity). If you would like more information about passing unclaimed funds to RNIB, please contact legacies@rnib.org.uk or call our Legacy Secretary on 01733 375 228.

Legacy administration guide

RNIB has a helpful free guide available to download for Will writing professionals and executors, explaining what you can do to help when administrating a legacy in favour of RNIB. Simply download your free PDF or Word copy of the guide below:

Need more help?

If you have any other queries or questions contact us:

  • fill in our online contact form
  • Email us at legacies@rnib.org.uk
  • Or call us on 01733 375 228 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
  • Fax: 01733 379 848
  • Write to us:
    Legacy Administration
    RNIB PO Box 173
    Peterborough
    PE2 6WS

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