Will-writing charitable prompting moving towards ‘social norm’

5 December 2014

The proportion of solicitors and Will-writers informing their clients about the option of leaving a gift to charity in their Will is at its highest level for more than a decade, according to research published by Remember A Charity.

The SPA Future Thinking report, commissioned by Remember A Charity, shows that two-thirds (65%) of solicitors and Will-writers ‘always or sometimes’ are making the charitable prompt. This is the highest level since Remember A Charity started monitoring prompting levels in 2002.

The research shows that those advisors who prompt about charitable legacies have a higher proportion of their clients leaving charitable bequests in their Wills. A test conducted by the Behavioural Insights Team found that three times as many people left a gift in their Will if their solicitor prompted them.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: “There has been a large disconnect between the 35% of adults who say they’d be happy to leave a gift in their Will and the 7.3% who went on to do it. Solicitors and Will-writers play a crucial role in informing their clients about this form of giving. This report shows that our campaign is helping to shift charitable prompting to become a social norm, potentially generating millions for good causes a year.”

The report comes on the back of recent successes by Remember A Charity with the Will-writing market. A further 250 solicitors signed up to support the legacy-giving campaign during Remember A Charity Week 2014, thanks to a co-signed letter with The Minister for Civil Society and endorsed by The Law Society.

The Government also changed its GOV.UK’s ‘Making a Will’ pages to directly link to Remember A Charity. The site is actively searched by almost 60,000 unique visitors a month.

The SPA Future Thinking report also found that overall awareness of Remember A Charity’s campaign and communications on charitable legacies is significantly up on last year; 89% report awareness compared with 73% in 2013.

It also found that just over a third of solicitors and Will-writers always advise clients of Inheritance Tax benefits of leaving money to charity.

Remember A Charity launched its Campaign Supporters’ scheme for professional advisors in 2011. The scheme encourages solicitors and Will-writers to show their support for good causes by always making the charitable prompt to their clients.

You can view a list of our Campaign Supporters here