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Misconceptions over Wills & inheritance remain barrier to legacy giving

Misconceptions over Wills & inheritance remain barrier to legacy giving

Misconceptions about Wills and intestacy remain a key barrier to legacy giving with over two-thirds of people in the UK without a fully written Will, and more than half unaware that giving to charity is exempt from inheritance tax.

The research from Remember A Charity, released during this week’s Remember A Charity in your Will Week, reveals that 68% of adults across the UK don’t have a completed Will in place, although this drops to 47% of over 55s, with just over a third (37%) assuming it will automatically go to their partner and children.

30% don’t think they’re wealthy enough to write a Will with many believing that Will-writing is time-consuming (30%), complicated (28%) and expensive (27%). Only 1 in 4 (25%) say they have planned for death.

In addition, more than half (57%) don’t know that giving to charity is exempt from inheritance tax and nearly a quarter (22%) believe that you have to be wealthy to donate to charity from your Will.

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity commented:

“We’ve certainly seen from the research that there is a huge knowledge gap about how Wills and inheritance works. This remains a key barrier to growing legacy giving and underlines the importance for working together with solicitors, Will-writers, government and other partners to reduce intestacy.

“The sector’s made some real progress in opening up conversation around gifts in Wills, but this research shows that there’s no room for complacency. There’s still a long way to go in terms of helping the public better understand today’s Wills environment and the importance of legacy giving.”





Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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