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Charity Commission NI to assume cy-près powers

Charity Commission NI to assume cy-près powers

The Charity Commission for is preparing to assume its powers to make cy-près schemes in accordance with the Charities Act (Northern ) 2008.

Cy-pres is a legal term for the process of determining the original objective of the settlor or the testator when a will becomes impossible, impracticable, or illegal to perform. The cy-près doctrine allows an interpretation which is as close as possible to the terms of the will.

It is relevant to charities because often wills contain the wrong name of a charity, dedicate the money to an already completed project, and similar reasons.

Last year the Department of Social Development placed an advertisement relating to cy-pres after a will left money to a charity that did not exist.

The Commission is keen to ascertain how many pieces of cy-près casework may be out there to process from Spring 2012 onwards. The cy-près advance notification exercise is to give the Commission an overall idea of what level of work they are likely to encounter in this area and plan ahead accordingly.

Anyone with cy-pres work should contact CCNI case worker Kevin Kennedy at or on 028 38320220.


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Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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