Interview with founder of My Digital Legacy

Legacy bequests reach highest number ever recorded

The latest findings released by Legacy Futures reveals that legacy income received by its Legacy Monitor consortium members in the year to March 2024 was £1.81bn – 1% up on the previous financial year. 

The income growth has been driven primarily by bequest numbers, which reached almost 60,000 – the highest number of annual bequests ever recorded.

Legacy Futures’ data suggests that the growth in bequests is, in the main part, a result of improvements in the probate process at HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). The backlog of probate cases declined in the period analysed, implying that investments made in additional resources are starting to pay off.

Looking forward, the increased numbers of bequests coming out of the probate process and a less pessimistic outlook than expected for house prices means that the legacy market is predicted to remain resilient and show flat or potentially slow growth for the remainder of 2024.  Ashley Rowthorn, CEO of Legacy Futures, said:

“Charities and supporters alike have felt, and are still feeling, the impact of the ongoing political instability and cost-of-living crisis. Add to that the delays at probate, and legacy giving, although still a reliable income stream for charities collectively, wasn’t seeing the levels of growth that had previously been predicted. It’s great news for charities therefore that bequest numbers have reached a record high and that efficiencies at HMCTS have started to improve. Income resilience is what’s needed in the current climate and it’s very positive indeed that this research points to that being a reality for the future of the legacy market.”

Read more stories

Join over 6,000 wills and probate practitioners – Check back daily for all the latest news, views, insights and best practice and sign up to our e-newsletter to receive our weekly round up every Friday morning. 

You’ll receive the latest updates, analysis, and best practice straight to your inbox.