If you have received a legacy, you may decide that you would like all or a part of it to be donated to charity. However, you may not want to donate the money all at once and you may want some time to choose which causes to support. In these circumstances, we can help.

Creating a Deed of Variation to a Will in favour of CAF enables you to arrange a philanthropic fund out of that legacy. You can distribute it to single or multiple causes either immediately or over a period of time.

A Deed of Variation to a Will, also known as an Instrument of Variation, is a document that can change the distribution of an estate, mostly for tax purposes. The Deed must be executed within two years of the date of death, everyone affected by the change to the Will must agree and no-one can be compensated for the amount they give up. The Deed must also be signed by all of the executors and by those beneficiaries affected by the changes being made. 

Want to learn more about leaving a gift to charity in your Will?

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1. Draw up your Deed of Variation to the Will in favour of CAF

CAF provides a letter stating that we have seen the Deed, which you can send to HMRC to arrange any tax refund due. 

2. Decide on your preferred way to give

  • CAF Legacy Service
  • CAF Charity Account
  • CAF Charitable Trust

See for details or contact us for more information. 

3. Send the money to CAF

We will place this in your chosen fund for CAF to give to the charities of your choice when you are ready, subject to the relevant Terms and conditions of business.


Whilst a Deed of Variation to a Will does not avoid tax, it does help you take advantage of the reliefs that are available. Donating a legacy to a charity can help reduce liability to Inheritance Tax and, in some cases, Capital Gains Tax.

Furthermore, since 6 April 2012, if you are able to redirect 10% or more of the deceased person’s net estate to charity, the rest of the estate can benefit from a reduction in the Inheritance Tax rate from 40% to 36%.

To enable you to work out how much you would need to donate to charity to benefit from this reduction, HMRC has helpfully provided a calculator here.

The wording that you will need to include in the Deed of Variation for the charitable gift to qualify for the reduced rate of 36% is available here.

If you already have a CAF Charitable Trust or a CAF Charity Account, you can use a Deed of Variation to a Will to create a charitable legacy to increase the value of your fund.

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Want to know more?

Talk to our team

Contact our expert team on 03000 123 108 to discuss how we can help you.

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CAF Charitable Legacy Service

Leave a gift to charity in your Will, to carry on supporting the causes you care about after you’re gone.

CAF Charitable Trust

A flexible and tax-effective way to manage and maximise your long-term giving.

CAF Charity Account

Set aside a little when you have it to make a difference when you want to.