Legacies: An unexpected success?

30 April 2015

Third Sector recently described the government’s achievements on legacy giving an “unexpected success”.

As the final countdown begins to the election, here are five ways that we have been working behind the scenes to make this happen:

1. The charity sector lamented the absence of legacy giving in the 2011 Giving White Paper, but it became a central theme of the Giving White Paper – One Year On in 2012, after extensive lobbying by Remember A Charity.

We led roundtable discussions, gathering some of the sector’s leading commentators and politicians on legacies; and gathered years of research and insight to put legacies back on the giving agenda.

2. 2012 also saw the Chancellor’s launch of a new tax break for those who leave a gift in their Will to charity. A 10% reduction in Inheritance Tax for those who leave 10% of their estate to charity. The move follows Remember A Charity’s call to restructure the IHT system, with a charitable exemption.

3. Remember A Charity’s trials with the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team in 2013 showed that by mentioning charity during the Will-writing process, we could potentially treble the number of people who leave a gift in their Will, generating a further £1 billion a year for good causes.

4. The Cabinet Office supported Remember A Charity Week 2014, with the Minister of Civil Society writing to legal firms across the country, which led to more than 250 probate firms agreeing to always mention charity when writing Wills. The number of solicitors who now always mention charity is at its highest levels to date.

5. The government put legacies at the heart of Will-writing advice when it created a link from Gov.uk’s “Making a Will” site to Remember A Charity, reaching more than 60,000 people a month.

We don’t see this as an “unexpected success” – rather the result of years of hard work, insight and collaboration. But we won’t stop there.

The legacy market continues to grow, but with greater support and impetus from Government, the true potential could be far greater.

Our new manifesto sets out our vision for the next government to help the sector move even closer to making gifts in Wills the social norm.

Watch our video showing how we’re growing the legacy market.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity