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A technical problem for charities that merge is possible uncertainty over what to do with legacies and other gifts intended for charities that have ‘disappeared’ as a result of the merger. The Charity Commission have set up a register of mergers that will (in most cases) overcome this problem. The Charity Act will also simplify the process of transferring property, including land, in these cases.

The benefits: Although registering a merger is not compulsory, it does allow for gifts to a charity to be automatically transferred to the new, merged charity. This is particularly useful where there are legacies or other gifts that were left to the charities that ‘disappear’ as a result of the merger. This provision helps to honour the spirit of legacies and gifts made to one of the merging charities. Using a ‘vesting declaration’ simplifies the transfer of title to land belonging to any of the charities involved; in such cases it will be compulsory to notify the Charity Commission to register the merger.


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