One in four wills written by solicitors and professionals now include a charitable will

New findings show that solicitors and professional Will-writers are playing an increasingly important role in charitable Will-writing, with almost three-quarters (73%) always or sometimes raising the option of leaving charitable bequests in Wills to their clients.

The 2022 Savanta Will-writing tracking study was commissioned by Remember A Charity, a consortium of UK charities working to promote charitable gifts in Wills amongst the British public.

Findings reveal that almost a quarter (24%) of Wills handled by UK legal advisers now include a donation to charity – continuing a steady rise year-on-year for the past decade, up from 16% in 2014.

Graph showing the average proportion of Wills made through solicitors and Will-writers that include a charitable gift

Gifts in Wills are the largest single source of voluntary income for charities in the UK, raising £3.85 billion for good causes annually and funding vital charitable services.

Over a third (36%) of all solicitors and Will-writers say they always raise the option of a charitable legacy with relevant clients, while less than one in 10 (9%) say they never do so. Of those who don’t always raise the issue, more than one quarter (26%) say the most prominent reason is because they do not want to influence their client’s decision.

When it comes to the barriers to legacy giving, professional advisers believe the most common issues are that clients want to leave their full estate to their family (83%), that they have difficulty choosing which charity/charities to support (38%) or that it may cause/lead to dispute (38%).

Three-quarters of the firms in this survey (77%) have acted or assisted in the administration of estates that include a legacy to charity. Over half (56%) of those said they found charities easy to deal with. Only 13% indicated said they didn’t find charities easy to work with and the top cited reason (22%) for that was that they communicate too often.

Lucinda Frostick, Director at Remember A Charity, said:

“Once clients have taken care of their family and loved ones in their Will, the option to leave a charitable gift and lasting legacy to positively impact the world after they are gone can be hugely empowering and inspiring.

This benchmarking study charts a continual rise in the proportion of Wills made through solicitors and Will-writers that include a charitable gift. These donations may not arrive for some years yet, but they will fund vital services and charities’ core costs for generations to follow.”

Remember A Charity runs a free Campaign Supporter scheme for solicitors and Will-writers, providing promotional resources and useful guidance for referencing legacy giving with clients. Find out more at www.rememberacharity.org.uk/about-us/for-solicitors-will-writers 

Remember A Charity Week takes place 11-17th September 2023.

Read more stories

Join nearly 5,000 other practitioners – sign up to our free newsletter

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

Features