Help for executors
Managing wills where the British Red Cross is a beneficiary
Administering a will
Acting as the executor of a will can be daunting, but we’re here to help.
Find out what you need to do as an executor and how to manage a will where the British Red Cross has been left a gift.
The information on this page is for guidance only. It’s not a substitute for legal or other professional advice.
Sending us a gift during Coronavirus
If you need to send us a gift, we ask that you make any legacy payment via BACS transfer. Please contact us by email or on 020 7877 7351 for more information.
We ask that you do not send any cheques or mail to our head office. Thank you for your help and co-operation at this challenging time.
If we are due to receive a gift from the will you’re managing, get in touch with our legacy administration team and we can help you with next steps.
Telephone: 020 7877 7351
Or write to:
Legacy administration manager
British Red Cross
Was the deceased a British Red Cross supporter? If so, let our supporter care team know. They’ll stop any further mail being sent to their address:
Telephone: 0300 456 1155 (calls charged at your phone operator’s UK landline rate)
Understand your responsibilities as an executor
This information will help you understand what's involved in being an executor.
Different types of gifts in wills
Different types of gift can be left to the British Red Cross.
You'll need to share sections of the will with us, depending on what kind of legacy has been left.
Pecuniary and specific gifts
There are two types of gifts:
- A pecuniary legacy, which is a fixed sum of money
- A specific legacy, such as a piece of jewellery
If we are due to receive a pecuniary or specific gift, please send a copy of the clause in the will where this is stated to our legacy administration team and we’ll make sure the gift is allocated properly.
The deceased’s debts have been paid and all specific gifts have been accounted for. Whatever’s left is known as the residuary estate.
If we are due to receive a residuary gift, you’ll need to send us these documents when they become available:
- A copy of the will once probate has been granted.
- A summary of the deceased’s assets and debts. This is known as a schedule of assets and liabilities.
- Independent valuations of any major assets such as property, shares or antiques.
- A copy of the estate accounts. This includes the final total of assets, debts, fees and admin expenses, and how the balance of the estate has been distributed.
- A tax deduction certificate (form R185 estates income).
Know your tax obligations
As executor, you must settle the deceased’s unpaid taxes.
UK charities don’t pay inheritance tax, capital gains tax or income tax. You shouldn’t pay these taxes on gifts left to the British Red Cross.
GOV.UK has more information on tax relief when you donate to a charity.
If the will you’re working on provides gifts to a mixture of charity and non-charity beneficiaries, you will need to check the inheritance tax payable.
If 10 per cent or more of the net estate is left to charity, a lower amount of inheritance tax may be payable on the non-charitable parts.
GOV.UK has the latest inheritance tax information. You can also check if the lower rate will apply by using the reduced rate calculator.
Capital gains tax
Charities are exempt from capital gains tax. We don’t pay tax on property, shares or other assets left to us.
To make sure this happens, use the appropriation process.
In appropriation, you confirm to a charity that you’ll sell assets on their behalf. The sale can then be made and capital gains tax won’t be deducted.
Before appropriation, executors must be sure that the assets aren’t required for the payment of debts or other legacies.
The executor also needs to get permission from the charity to do this. Get in touch with our legacy administration team if you need help.
Income received by the deceased’s estate can be taxed. This includes income received prior to death, such as interest from bank accounts.
Charities can recover most of the income tax paid on their share. You can help the British Red Cross do this by completing a statement of income from estates (R185).
Dealing with assets
If large assets have been left to the British Red Cross, please let us know.
Large assets could include:
To maximise our gift, we’d like to be involved in the sale. This includes being consulted on marketing and any offers you receive.
To get the best price, please get written valuations from at least two estate agents. You should also check the property’s development potential.
Stocks and shares
Please let us have an up-to-date valuation of any shareholdings.
We can suggest stockbrokers who offer reduced commission rates for charities, and suggest ways to mitigate any capital gains tax.
The contents of a house, or chattel, are often sold for less than their true value. But we can help.
The British Red Cross has favourable terms with UK auctioneers. They can help us get the best price for valuable items.
Get in touch and let us know what items are suitable for auction.
How to produce estate accounts
We understand that administering an estate for a loved one can be difficult, but we would be really grateful to receive a set of final accounts. By law, executors must provide all residuary beneficiaries with estate accounts.
This should be a simple reconciliation which sets out a list of the deceased’s assets and debts at the time of death.
Final accounts should include:
- An expenditure account, including an inheritance tax, administration expenses and pecuniary legacies. Sometimes inheritance tax is paid by mistake. If we can check your accounts, we can be sure we’re getting maximum tax relief on the gift.
- An income account, giving details of interest, dividends and rents paid since death.
- A distribution account, which shows how the estate has passed to various beneficiaries, including the British Red Cross.