The Institute of Fundraising has asked its members to lobby the Government against introducing a European Commission regulation that it claims could allow people to claim back all donations that a dead relative made to charity in their lifetime.
The European Commission's proposal on succession and wills, intended to harmonise policy across member states, could mean that when a UK resident moves to another country and dies there, the principle of ‘clawback' will apply.
According to the institute, this could mean the heirs of a deceased person could insist that all donations made during that person's lifetime, including donations through payroll giving and direct debits, could be ‘clawed back' into their estate.
Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the institute, said: "The application of clawback could have a substantial impact on charities' income and has the potential, if introduced in the UK, to lead to a massive loss of revenue.
"We need to act now to stop this regulation being introduced into UK law."
The institute will send a response to the consultation on the proposals, and it wants individual charities to submit their own responses as well.