Back to Legal Industry News

More Gifts to Charity in Wills Than Ever Before

More Gifts to Charity in Wills Than Ever Before

There was a 10 per cent increase in the number of charities who received money from a ‘legacy donation’ from 2014 to 2015.

The amount of money people from England, Wales and Scotland who donated money to charity in their will reached £2.2bn in 2014.

Despite figures from Remember A Charity and Smee & Ford proving that more people are gifting money to charity in their wills, most people in the UK do not – with only 38 per cent of people in England and Wales having a will at all according to a 2015 YouGov poll.

Rob Cope, director at Remember A Charity, said: “We all need to recognise the importance of making a will. People don't like to think about it and so put it off. But people need to be encouraged to make a will in the same way that they are encouraged to have a pension.

“Ultimately a will isn't just a financial document. It's a human document. It's a reflection of everything that has been important to us during our lives. So now more than ever it's a good chance to step back and ask: 'What do charities mean to me, what role have they played in my lifetime, what do they do for my community — and what could they mean in the future to my family and friends?' It's a way to make sure their work can go on.”

There has been a 29 per cent increase in the number of charities benefiting from legacy donations over the past eight years with 2,257 charities now recipients of gifts from people in the UK.

Only seven per cent of the UK population currently leaves gifts to charities in their wills, but the impact on the charities can be massive.

Six out of ten lifeboat launches are funded by money from wills, two-thirds of all guide dogs are paid for by gifting and over a third of Cancer Research UK’s work is made possible through legacy donations.