Tech and digital innovation is revolutionising the way people leave legacies to charities, according to a recent article in Today’s Will and Probate.

With technology transforming the way the industry works in general, it follows that tech can make the process of setting up a donation easier. Legacy Foresight, which provides analysis of legacy fundraising, predicts donations left in Wills to UK charities will be worth twice as much in 25 years’ time, reaching £10 billion by 2045. This relates to the UK demographic, more people making Wills and a higher proportion of people leaving a legacy to a cause they support.

Leaving money to charity can also reduce how much inheritance tax is due on an estate.

Further use of online will writing

Matthew Lagden, the CEO of the Institute of Legacy Management, said his organisation believed technology could revolutionise both legacy giving and the world of probate as a whole over the next few years. This could be through further use of online will writing, to increasing automation and the digital tools that administer estates.

He added that the institute was looking at the potential role technology and case management tools could play in making legacy administration more efficient.

Rob Cope, the director of Remember A Charity, said technology had levelled the playing fields for charities. Legacies used to the domain of the larger charities but as people could now write wills cheaply and easily, and smaller charities are able to use social media and digital channels to spread the message to supporters at a much lower cost.

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Strong, emotive content

He added the medium itself made it easier for conversations such as broadcasts where charities could create strong, emotive content that appealed to potential donors.

Isobel Stewart of Save the Children said no charity’s legacy campaign these days was complete without an online journey for supporters. The charity’s current campaign—its highest level of digital engagement yet—sends out a clear message that it is a mistake to assume Baby Boomers are not digitally literate.

In addition, the online world allows people more access to a charity. They can research its aims and goals easily, something that wasn’t possible a generation ago. Digital advertising is easier to analyse too, which means charities can test different campaigns and strategies to work out what is the most effective.

James Stebbings, the head of legacy income at Macmillan Cancer Support, said his charity wanted to work with organisations that are using innovative technology to make life easier for non-profits in the area of will writing. Technology that was safe and easy to use would almost certainly result in an increase in legacy giving.

Gifts in Wills are currently though to raise more than £3 billion for charities.


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