Reader question: I wish to leave money to charities helping Britons in France, such as for ex-service-people, Alzheimer’s or people in need (rather than animal charities). Can you suggest some? D.F.
For a charity to receive your gift without complications it is best for it to be French-based and able to meet the required criteria of being non-profit-making, socially useful, run without self-interest and not for a highly ‘restricted circle’ of people.
This will be the case for ‘general interest’ associations carrying out social, humanitarian and scientific work, ones whose main aim relates to ‘good works’ or medical research as well as associations or foundations recognised as d’utilité publique.
The kind of charities you are considering will often be able to receive gifts free of inheritance tax, though this is not the case for all associations, so you may wish to check directly first with them.
You may also wish to consult a notaire as to how to word your will bearing in mind, if relevant, French rules on children’s rights, should you plan to leave larger sums.