Have you the will to give

April 9, 2013

This is a challenging time for the charity/not for profit, or so called “Third Sector” in Northern Ireland. The Charity Commission has been established, there is increasing pressure on funding, charitable giving has been hit hard by the current economic climate and we are seeing an increase in the number of disputes regarding wills. In the midst of this we are finding that our clients, including local and national charities, social enterprises and not for profit organisations of all sizes, are coming to us ever more frequently for specialised legal advice on a wide variety of issues.

At Cleaver Fulton Rankin we have built up this specialised advice over many years and have a team of dedicated legal professionals. We advise on governance and fundraising arrangements and other legal issues concerning charities’ structures and strategies as well as compliance issues, all aspects of employment law and contentious probate. We also have substantial expertise in the area of estate administration and can advise on the complexities of winding up the affairs of the deceased as well as advice regarding trusts.

Trusts are useful planning vehicles for both individuals and charities and often provide tax advantages. Our team of lawyers can advise on all matters of trust law and we can also act as professional trustees where appropriate having recently established a trust company, Cleaver Fulton Rankin Trustees Limited, for this purpose.

Occasionally difficulties can arise during the administration of an estate or trust. Cleaver Fulton Rankin can advise and assist in bringing mor defending claims in this area. Jonathan Forrester, Director, has assisted numerous leading local and national charities in resolving such disputes which often tend to arise with high
value estates.

Another area where we see clients having an interest is charitable giving. This has become more advantageous with the recent inheritance
tax reforms, whereby if 10% or more of an estate is given to charity the inheritance tax payable on the estate is reduced. Michael Graham, Director, is particularly active in promoting charitable giving by will and was a founding member of Will to Give, a local charity established with the support of NICVA to promote charitable giving by will. Will to Give is also supported by the Law Society of Northern Ireland

We have one of the largest Charity law teams in the Province and take pride in being able to provide our clients with advice “across the board”. Chambers UK, A Client’s Guide to the Legal Profession 2013 ranks us as top rate in this area of law and notes that “Cleaver FultonRankin has long held a reputation for excellence in the third sector”. Clients comment that, “the nservice we get from CFR is really quite outstanding.” The firm is also a member of the Institute of Legacy Management and Michael Graham is the current Chairman of the Northern Ireland branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Whatever legal advice we are asked to provide our primary interest is always to ensure that the client receives the advice most suited to their particular circumstances. We take thetime to understand the client’s requirements and then provide clear and unambiguous advice to allow the client to make an informed choice.

If you would like to further information please give us a call on: 028 9024 3141 or visit our website: www.cfrlaw.co.uk