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Latest Smee & Ford data shows legacy income rise to £3.9bn for England & Wales

Melanie May | 6 December 2023 | News

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Annual legacy income for England and Wales has risen by 7.6% to £3.9 billion, Smee & Ford has said.

Its data, up to the end of October 2023, shows that approximately 13.5% of probated estates with Wills are charitable.

Smee & Ford is forecasting around 36,500 charitable estates by the end of the year, which is slightly less than last year’s 37,038.


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Based on data from the Charity Commission charity accounts (July 2022 – June 2023) supplemented with S&F data, it says legacy income has increased by 7.6%. Average estate values have also increased – up from £439k in 2016 to £584k in 2023.

Smee & Ford has also taken receipt of the highest number of issued grants from HMCTS in October this year with November a close second which it says bodes well for 2024.

Its full year report will be published in the spring.

The figures are close to those released by Legacy Foresight in November. Based on its latest Legacy Monitor, which gathers data from over 80 charities, it estimated that charity legacy income had seen record annual growth of 6.5% in 2022/23, reaching £4 billion.