Charitable Legacy

I am dealing with the estate of T who died in 2020 and left £5,000 to a charity. The legacy was paid earlier this year. It has now come to light the the legacy cheque sent to the charity has not been presented for payment. An internet search suggests that the charity ‘ceased activity’ 6 days prior to the death. The charity website is no longer operational. The charity is still showing as registered on the charity commission website (although the charity reporting requirements are now nearly 2 years overdue).

If the charity is still showing as ‘registered’ on the charity commission website, do I need to contact the charity commission to somehow arrange payment of the legacy or does the legacy fail and fall into residue (there is no saving provision in the Will allowing the executors to pay the legacy to a charity of similar means)? Does anyone have any experience similar to this?

What administrative provisions are there in the Will? If STEP, there are saving provisions.

Julian Cohen

Simons Rodkin

I think a lot would turn on the legal entity and whether it still exists.

If a CLG/CIO and it still exists, I suspect the legacy is still due to them. If a trust/association it will be a little more complicated (i.e. I don’t know!) and may turn on whether the trustees/members have resolved to dissolve the organisation.

I don’t think anything turns on the charity registration as that doesn’t affect the existence of the charity (unless maybe if it is a CIO).

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP


If you have not done so already, I suggest reviewing the Charity Commission’s operational guidance OG505 ( which I think should be helpful in your case.

Best wishes

Nicola Evans

BDB Pitmans LLP


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