One in four professionally written Wills now include a charitable gift

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Our latest survey of the Will-writing sector shows that solicitors and professional Will-writers are playing an increasingly important role in legacy giving. 

The annual survey, carried out by independent research firm Savanta*, reveals that almost three-quarters (73%) always or sometimes raise the option of leaving charitable bequests in Wills to their clients.

Now almost a quarter (24%) of Wills handled by UK legal advisers include a donation to charity; showing steady growth and long-term change over the past decade, up from 16% in 2014.

The average proportion of Wills made through solicitors and Will-writers that include a charitable gift.

Gifts in Wills are the largest single source of voluntary income for charities in the UK, raising £3.85 billion** for good causes annually and funding vital charitable services.

Over a third (36%) of all solicitors and Will-writers say they always raise the option of a charitable legacy with relevant clients, while less than one in 10 (9%) say they never do so. Of those who don’t always raise the issue, more than one quarter (26%) say the most prominent reason is because they do not want to influence their client’s decision.

Lucinda Frostick, Director at Remember A Charity, said: “When it comes to growing legacy giving, engagement and support from across the Will-writing community is crucial. This benchmarking study charts a continual rise in the proportion of Wills made through solicitors and Will-writers that include a charitable gift and that’s so important for charities that rely on legacy income. These donations may not arrive for some years yet, but they will fund vital services and charities’ core costs for generations to follow.”

When asked about the most common barriers to legacy giving for clients, solicitors and Will-writers believe the most common reasons are that they want to leave their full estate to their family (83%), that they have difficulty choosing which charity/charities to support (38%) or that it may cause/lead to dispute (38%).

Three-quarters of the firms in this survey (77%) have acted or assisted in the administration of estates that include a legacy to charity. Over half (56%) of those said they found charities easy to deal with. Only 13% indicated said they didn’t find charities easy to work with, with the top cited reason (22%) for that being that they communicate too often.

Remember A Charity members can view the findings in full here

* Savanta, Will-Writing Tracking Study 2022 

Commissioned by Remember A Charity and carried out by Savanta, this Will-writing tracking study explores how professional advisers view and approach charitable bequests when discussing Will-writing with clients. It is based on Computer Aided Telephone Interviews (CATI) that were conducted from 14 December 2022 to 25 January 2023 to gather the views of 230 solicitors, professional Will-writers and IFAs across the UK. 


** Legacy Foresight 2023