Legacy giving on the up

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People are more likely to leave donations to charity in their will than they were 10 years ago, a survey has revealed 

24th May 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

People are more likely to leave money to a charity in their will than they were a decade ago.

Public attitudes towards charitable legacies have become more positive over the past 10 years, according to the latest UK consumer tracking poll commissioned by Remember a Charity.

The OnePoll survey (March-April 2019) found that 40% of people aged 40+ would be happy to give a small percentage of their estate to charity, up from 35% in 2008. Almost two thirds (65%) said that it was acceptable to leave your entire estate to charity if you wish.

The large majority (70%) of respondents felt that people should tell their children if they intended to leave a ‘reasonable sum of money’ to charity in their will. Only one in four (26%) thought their family would object to them making such a gift, down from 31% in 2008.

Rob Cope, director of Remember a Charity, said: “We’ve seen a real shift in attitudes in recent years with the public indicating that they are more open to the concept of legacy giving and this is a positive sign for the years ahead.

“While legacy income will inevitably fluctuate to reflect wider economic trends, the public’s propensity to give is the key driving factor for market growth. This poll suggests not only that the public is more willing to leave a gift, but that they have a clearer understanding of legacy giving and think people should be free to do what they want with their estates. 

“People still do worry about how their family might feel if they leave a charitable gift in their will and this underlines the importance of encouraging potential legators to discuss their wishes with their family, reducing the risk of dispute.”

In 2008, the majority of respondents said that it was better to give money when you are alive than through a legacy (63%) and that close relatives have a right to the majority of an estate (72%). Today, according to the latest survey findings, those views are held by a minority, at 47% and 41% respectively.