The Charities Regulator examines information relating to charitable bequests received from the Probate Office, which has a statutory mandate to provide the Charities Regulator with an annual report of all charitable bequests to charities in Ireland.
Executors / legal personal representatives (“LPRs”) must submit receipts for payment of charitable bequests to the Charities Regulator within six (6) months of the issuing of a grant of probate under section 52 of the Charities Act 1961.
Bequests to overseas charities with no activities in Ireland are not within the remit of the legislation. LPRs are not required to include these on the charitable bequest form.
One will, one form
Please note that from 1 February 2024, based on feedback from the legal profession, the charitable bequest form is no longer completed online.
The Courts Service has published the form which should be completed and submitted to the Probate Office / District Probate Registry with your application for a grant where the will contains a charitable bequest. You will find a link to the form in the section below.
LPRs or solicitors acting on their behalf must complete this single form known as the ‘Charitable Bequest Form’ which includes the wording of all charitable bequests in a will. The completed form should contain details of all charitable bequests including a bequest of the residue if a charity is a residuary beneficiary.
Submitting several forms in respect of one estate will result in the forms / application being returned to you and this will delay the processing of your application.
How do I file a charitable bequest form?
In order to complete the Charitable Bequest Form, you must:
- Download it from the Courts.ie website
- Complete the form and list all charitable bequests
- List the registered charity name and number of any beneficiary that is a charity registered in Ireland – search the Register of Charities on our website
- Arrange for the form to be signed by the LPRs / solicitor acting on their behalf
- Make a copy of the form for your file
- Submit the hard copy form with your application for a grant of probate to the Probate Office / District Probate Registry.
The Probate Office is required to provide the following details to the Charities Regulator in accordance with its statutory obligations under the Charities Acts:
- Particulars of every charitable devise (gift of real property) or bequest contained in any will entered in the Probate Office or a District Probate Registry
- The name of the testator (the deceased)
- The name of the person to whom probate was granted
- The date of the will and the date of the grant of probate.
Send your receipts for payment of charitable bequests to the Charities Regulator
Within six months after the grant has issued, the following must be submitted to the Charities Regulator:
- Receipts for the payment of charitable bequests to the charity beneficiaries,
- If the charitable bequest has not been paid within six months from the date of the grant, confirmation that the charity has been made aware of the charitable bequest. The LPR should confirm when it is expected the bequest will be paid. When it has been paid the LPR must send receipts for payment to the Charities Regulator.
Please send receipts:
By email to: CSU@charitiesregulator.ie
By post to: Charity Services Unit, Charities Regulator, 3 George's Dock, IFSC, Dublin 1, D01 X5X0, Ireland
Receipts may take the form of a letter or other signed written correspondence from the registered charity confirming that it has received the bequest.
Please note the Charities Regulator does not send acknowledgements when it receives receipts for payment of charitable bequests. There is no requirement for the Charities Regulator to issue a letter of exemption from publication. If the charitable bequest is selected for spot-checking, you may receive further correspondence from the Charities Regulator.
If there is a difference between the sum gifted in a specific legacy, or another change in the details of the charitable bequest compared to the wording of the will, the estate accounts and an explanation for the difference may be requested by the Charities Regulator.
LPRs should get legal advice before making a distribution of a charitable bequest if necessary.
Please note that if you are an LPR completing a charitable bequest form and there is no solicitor acting in the estate administration, you may simply note this on the charitable bequest form.
The charitable bequest form should only be used for bequests in relation to charities operating in Ireland.
What should I do if a will contains a gift to an Irish charity?
If a will contains a gift to a charity, it should be given to that charity. You must tell the Probate Office, the charity and the Charities Regulator about the gift. You should search the public Register of Charities to identify what registered charity the gift should be paid to and get legal advice to help you do this.
What should I do if a will creates a new charitable trust?
If a will creates a new charitable trust, you should get legal advice.Learn how to register a new charity on our website.
If a will establishes a new charitable trust, the trustees also have duties to maintain and file details of the trust on the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Trusts (CRBOT) via Revenue’s website. Further information is available under “Charitable Trusts” on the FAQ section of our website. The Charities Regulator is not responsible for CRBOT.
What should I do if a will leaves a charitable bequest for the saying of masses?
You should search the Register of Charities on our website and ask the named beneficiary to identify what registered charity the gift should be paid to. You should include details of this on the charitable bequest form.