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Solicitors more likely to mention tax benefits of legacy giving to clients

Solicitors more likely to mention tax benefits of legacy giving to clients

If you make a Will with a solicitor or Will-writer you are more likely to be told about the tax benefits of leaving a legacy to charity than ever before, according to .

The charity consortium that encourages more people to leave a gift to charity in their Will commissioned research by Future Thinking, which monitors solicitors’ and professional Will-writers’ approach towards legacy giving and attitudes towards working with charities.

The latest survey, conducted in December 2016, reveals that:

72% of solicitors and Will-writers always or sometimes advise clients about the inheritance tax benefits of legacy giving

• this is up from 66% in 2015 and 61% in 2009, when the survey was first carried out.

64% of advisers always or sometimes proactively mention the option of leaving a gift to charity

38% saying they always do so.

20% of advisers occasionally proactively mention charity

14% never do.



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Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said:

“It’s great to see record numbers of advisers talking about the tax advantages of legacy giving and that our campaign supporter scheme is making a real impact here. The challenge now is to build on this momentum, working collaboratively with the legal sector to ensure that advisers are well informed and remain enthusiastic about raising the issue of legacy giving with clients.”


Commitment to mention charitable giving

The research also confirmed that advisers working with one of Remember A Charity’s campaign supporter firms are more than twice as likely to always mention charity bequests.

There are now over 1,100 of these campaign supporter organisations. They all commit to mention the option of charitable giving during the Will-writing process.

The research found that three quarters of advisers that worked for one of the consortium’s supporter firms always mention charitable legacies during the Will-writing process compared to just a third of advisers at other firms.

On average, advisers report that 17% of Wills contain a charitable bequest, having grown steadily from 15% in 2011. The large majority (78%) said their firms have assisted in the administration of an estate containing a charitable legacy.


Inheritance tax changes pose risk

This news comes during the same week as changes to the inheritance tax framework, which took effect from 6th April 2017.

Remember A Charity has raised concerns that these changes pose a risk to legacy fundraising and called on Government to review the fiscal incentives available, including the feasibility of introducing a VAT exemption on the cost of legal services linked to writing Wills that include a charitable donation.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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