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People would leave more to charities in wills if ‘nudged’ to do so

Three times more Britons would leave a gift to charity in their wills if they were ‘nudged’ to do so by their solicitor, according to results of a trial.

The legacy giving trial by the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team showed that when solicitors or will writers simply mentioned to people that leaving a gift to charity was an option, the percentage of people who did so rose from just 5% to 10%. They rose again to 15% when people were also asked if there were any charities that they were passionate about. An additional £1m of gifts was left to charities in wills as a result of the trial.

The trial looked at over 1,000 new wills over six months, was conducted by the Behavioural Insights Team in partnership with Remember a Charity and The Co-operative Legal Services.


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Remember a Charity’s director Rob Cope believes the increase is due to the fact that significant numbers of people are supportive of the idea of leaving a gift to charity but far fewer remember to do so when it comes to actually writing their wills.

“We are a very charitable nation, and the idea of leaving a gift to charity appeals to many people,” he said. “Our latest consumer research shows that nearly half of people have thought about leaving money to charity in their wills, but only around 7% of people currently leave a gift.

“The trial shows that if solicitors simply ask people to consider leaving a gift then this gap closes significantly. It is clearly a suggestion that people are warm to and many more include a gift to charity as a direct result.”

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