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One million gifts in Wills left to charities in past decade

Melanie May | 6 September 2021 | News

Len Goodman sitting on a grey sofa

Over one million gifts in Wills have been donated to charities over the last ten years, according to figures released to coincide with the launch of this week’s Remember A Charity Week.

More than 100,000 charitable bequests are left in Wills each year, and data from Smee & Ford shows that between 2010/11 to 2019/20 over a million gifts were donated. During this time, cumulative legacy income to UK charities exceeded £23 billion.

Legacy Foresight recently upgraded its forecast for legacy income over the next 10 years from an estimated £40 billion to £43 billion. A period of growth is expected, fuelled by the intergenerational wealth transfer from baby boomers. Legacy giving is also growing with the number of charitable bequests predicted to rise by 30% over this time.


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Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, said: 

“Legacy giving can be transformational for UK charities and it’s wonderful to see such scope for growth. Donations have long been on the rise, but the global pandemic has accelerated that growth, shining a spotlight on the critical role of charities in our communities and the importance of Will-writing. This funding will be vital for the sector as we strive to build back and strengthen resilience for whatever the future brings.


“Remember A Charity Week is a great opportunity to build on that momentum and for all charities to use the week as a springboard to open up conversation about gifts in Wills. These conversations are so important for driving change, normalising legacy giving and generating crucial income for the years ahead.”

This year, the Remember A Charity Week campaign centres on a simple ask: ‘Will you?’. Promotional activity includes targeted marketing, social media and an animated video starring the Wombles, who featured in last year’s campaign. Head judge of Dancing with the Stars, Len Goodman (pictured) supports the campaign for the fourth year running.

Charities within the consortium and its partnership network of campaign supporters, which include professional advisers, solicitors and Will-writers, are equipped with a suite of resources to help them raise the topic of legacy giving with supporters and Will-writing clients alike.

The consortium’s promotional activity for legacy giving continues throughout the year, including national newspaper supplements celebrating legacy giving scheduled to run in The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman this October.

Remember A Charity Week runs from 06-12 September, with 2021 marking its twelfth year. A collaborative initiative, the campaign brings 200 charities together with 1,300 legal professionals to champion legacy giving across the UK.