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Overhauling laws on Wills is critical for legacy giving, says Remember A Charity

Overhauling laws on Wills is critical for legacy giving, says Remember A Charity

The Law Commission’s proposal and consultation to overhaul the current laws on Wills could prove a ‘critical’ positive move for legacy giving, according to , the legacy giving consortium of charities.

Proposals that could lead to more people writing a Will and possibly considering a charitable bequest include:

• softening the strict formality rules

• a new mental capacity test which takes into account the modern understanding of conditions like dementia

• a suggestion that the age for making a Will should be lowered from 18 to 16.

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, said: “When you consider that hundreds of thousands of people in the UK die intestate each year, leaving no clear guidelines as to how any assets should be divided among their family, friends and good causes, it is long overdue that the Will-writing process is made more accessible, helping ensuring that people’s final wishes will be met.

“If the legal sector succeeds in making it easier for people to write a Will, while putting adequate safeguards in place for the public and minimising the opportunity for contested Wills, this could be a critical step forward for legacy giving. 

“Ultimately, the more people that write a Will, the greater the potential for including a charitable donation. Even if just a small percentage of people who die intestate were to leave a gift in their Will, this could help close the gap between those that have the desire to give through wills (35%)[1] and the 6%[2] of people that leave a charitable legacy. This could potentially raise millions for good causes each year.”

 

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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