2022 sees record number of charitable gifts within wills

New data has revealed 2022 saw a record number of charitable gifts left within wills. Of 231,582 wills processed by Smee & Ford, some 36,992 – or nearly 16% – included a gift to charity.

The total value of charitable estates exceeded Smee & Ford’s prediction of £20bn made in September, finishing on £21.3bn, the highest on record.

The number of individual bequests within charitable estates granted probate in 2022 was also the highest number they have ever recorded, finishing on 123,298 within England and Wales.

31% of bequests were worth over half a million pounds, with a further 22% coming from bequests valued between £100-£250k, meaning over half of all legacy income in 2022 came from high value bequests worth over £100k.

“It is encouraging to see that 2022 was another strong year for legacy income and that the number of charitable bequests recorded in wills has reached a new record,” said Polly Avgherinos, Managing Director at Smee & Ford, continuing:

“The Smee & Ford team look forward to continuing to support the great work that charity legacy teams do and ensuring that legators’ wishes to support causes close to their hearts are realised.”

Allan Freeman, Chair of Remember A Charity, said:

“In today’s volatile economic environment, it’s hugely encouraging that gifts in Wills continue to be such a significant and vital source of income for UK charities. More and more fundraisers tell us that legacy income is what’s enabling them to continue delivering services and, perhaps what’s most exciting, we’re seeing growing recognition among senior management of the importance of shoring up legacy fundraising teams and investment to protect their charities’ futures.”

The full and final statistics will be shared in Smee & Ford’s annual Legacy Trends report which is free for everyone in the sector to access. Register here to request a copy as soon as it is available.

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