Legacy donations soar as public make later life planning a priority

The number of donations left to charities in Wills soared in 2020 as the public made later life planning a priority, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by Co-op Legal Services, also found that more people are using charitable bequests to mitigate Inheritance Tax.

According to the report, charitable donations left in Wills increased by some 61 per cent in the year to December 2020, compared to the previous 12 months.

The figures also reveal that a third of all Wills now include a gift to charity, with Co-op Will writers alone leaving 100 gifts to charity every single day.

The authors suggest that raising awareness of the tax benefits of leaving money to charity could increase annual legacy revenue.

Under Inheritance Tax rules, all gifts left to charity are tax-free and are not counted as part of the overall value of your estate. But if more than 10 per cent of an estate is left to charity, the Inheritance Tax rate on the portion of your estate above the Inheritance Tax threshold is cut from 40 to just 36 per cent.

Commenting on the report, Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, said: “Family and friends will usually be people’s first consideration in a will. But leaving a charitable bequest is something that many people find incredibly empowering – a statement about who they are and what they believe in – and a wonderful way to shape the world they leave behind. It’s great to see how much appetite there is for giving in this way.

“Legacy income has been vital for charities, particularly over the past year when events and retail were so badly hit, and the legal sector is playing a critical role in making clients aware of the option of giving in this way.”

Matthew Lagden, Chief Executive of the Institute of Legacy Management (ILM), added: “ILM warmly welcomes the news that more people are choosing to leave a charitable gift in their will. Legacies make up a large percentage of charitable income, so the importance of gifts in wills should not be underestimated.”

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our expert charity finance and accounting team today.

Posted in Blog, Charities, Charities.