Surge in charity legacies since 2019

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Over the last 12 months, legacy giving to charities has soared according to a news article in the Funeral Service Times.

The article reports a rise of 56 percent, while during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic (mid-March to June), the Co-op Legal Services saw an increase of 81 percent in gifts being left to charity compared to the same period last year.

Cancer charities experienced the biggest rise, with legacy gifts up 77 percent. Co-op Legal Services found that legacy gifts weren’t the only things to increase with the causes people were choosing to donate widening too.

Local causes have seen a “significant increase” in donations in the last 12 months, meaning that a cause close to home is the second most common charity UK adults now choose to leave a gift to.

List of most popular causes

Animal charities are third, followed by international and children’s.

The rest of the list is:

  • Hospice
  • Rescue Organisations
  • Religious causes
  • Poverty and Homelessness
  • Help for the Elderly.

James Antoniou, the head of Wills for Co-op Legal Services, said he found it moving to see people still including gifts for charities in their wills at such a difficult time. People have also chosen to leave unique personal gifts to charities such as a collection of guitars and a classic red mini.

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He added that the increase in generosity would make a huge difference to good causes and showed why it was so important for people to make a will if they were determined to help local and other charities.

Some charities offer will writing as a free service in exchange for the agreement to leave them a legacy. In addition, Will Aid will help people draw up wills using a partnership with solicitors who waive their charges during the month of November in exchange for donations given to nine good causes.