- On January 7, 2020
A RECORD number of solicitors and Will-writing companies are highlighting legacy giving to their clients, new research has revealed.
Attitudes have shifted amongst professionals involved in the Will-writing process towards this type of giving and working with charities, according to the research commissioned by Remember A Charity.
Some 68% of solicitors and Will writers now “always or sometimes proactively raise the subject of legacy giving with clients”, the research shows. This is up from 58% in 2012. The findings also reveal that just 7% say they never raise the topic, down from 16% in 2012.
In terms of Wills containing charitable bequests, the figures show that 20% now contain a donation, up from 16% in 2012.
Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, said: “Over the years, we’ve seen a marked change in the way that advisers are approaching gifts in Wills with clients.
“Legacy giving is becoming more common across the client base, and there’s much less reticence when it comes to raising the topic of charitable giving.
“Increasingly, advisers now see discussions about gifts in Wills as part and parcel of offering a comprehensive service to clients.
“In most cases, clients will want to look after friends and family first – and that’s something we’d encourage.
‘A Simple Question Can Make A Huge Difference’
“But a simple question asking all Will-writing clients if they’d like to consider leaving a donation too can make a huge difference to the number of people that choose to give in this way, which is why working with advisers is such a key part of our strategy.”
The research also looked at the reasons why legacy giving is – or isn’t – mentioned during client meetings.
Advisers who do raise the topic say they typically do so as it’s either part of their standard Will writing process or because they want to highlight the benefits of doing so when it comes to mitigating against Inheritance Tax (IHT).
Charitable legacies are exempt from IHT and if you leave more than 10% of your estate to charity then the IHT charged is reduced to 36% (from 40%).
Solicitors and Will writers report the most commonly cited reason for not giving to charity in a Will is that clients want their loved ones and friends to be the sole beneficiaries.
Rob added: “Clearly, there’s much further to go before legacy giving becomes a social norm and every adviser feels comfortable and confident about raising the conversation with clients.
“We’ll be working more closely with the legal sector in the coming months to encourage greater consistency in the way that advisers approach gifts in Wills with clients and to provide resources that help them do so.”
Remember A Charity works to promote gifts in Wills and has partnered with more than 200 charities across the UK.
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