General points

When considering the rights of beneficiaries to information please bear in mind that charity legacy officers have obligations to their trustees and to the beneficiaries of their work, and being able to predict their income within a particular timeframe is very important.

All charity fundraisers also have an obligation to maximise any gift to the charity and therefore appreciate being involved in all stages of the administration process.

This means that early notification of an interest in a Will or codicil is much appreciated by charitable beneficiaries.  Many charities subscribe to Smee and Ford’s notification service, which means that they will be informed if a Will is proven with them as a named beneficiary (or there is a discretionary gift that specifies a particular area e.g. animals).

If a charity is notified that they are a beneficiary, particularly if they are a residuary beneficiary, they may contact you directly to ask for the documents relating to the Will that they are required to see by law.

Charities also appreciate being kept up to date with progress on the estate and being notified of any issues that occur.