What is tax benefit of money in will to charity?

I know that you can receive a significant crédit d’impôt (tax credit) on donations made to approved French charities. However what happens if you wish to donate to charities from the part of your estate that is disponible after you die? Is there any tax advantage to this? Can you advise on how to leave money to charity in the most efficient way for the charity and for the other heirs? M.R.

In France it is the beneficiary who pays the inheritance tax in function of their ‘blood’ relationship with the deceased, and not the estate as a whole as in the UK, so each person is taxed in isolation of the other beneficiaries.

In the case of charities, however, as long as the charity is registered, a bequest to it is generally exempt from inheritance tax.

Most forms of not-for-profit association or foundation are eligible for such tax-free bequests. This includes all of the large charities deemed d’utilité publique as well as associations that are cultural, humanitarian, educational, scientific, sporting, in defence of the environment etc. If in doubt, however check with your chosen charity/charities.

There would, however, be no additional benefit such as tax reductions for other heirs.


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