Charity legacy income fell by 1.6 per cent in 2011 compared with the previous year, according to the latest figures from Legacy Foresight, which maps and models the legacy market.
The 52 members of the Legacy Foresight Consortium, which together account for 50 per cent of the charitable legacies market, received a combined legacy income of £981m in 2011.
Legacy income fell for 28 members of the consortium, but increased for 24 members in that year.
The report says that consortium members enjoyed legacy income growth in the mid-noughties, but this had become and stayed negative since 2008, apart from a brief recovery in 2010.
"The gradual decline in legacy income is being caused by the weak economy, and in particular the downward drift in house prices," the report says. "The uncertain economic outlook suggests that there will be no significant growth in legacy income for at least two years."