Sector legacy income up by 10 per cent in 2016

Figures from the Legacy Monitor Consortium say its members got £1.43bn last year

Legacy income for charities rose by more than 10 per cent in 2016 compared with the previous year, new figures show.

Data from the Legacy Monitor Consortium, which comprises 83 charity members that together account for more than half of the charity legacy market, shows that in 2016 members received £1.43bn in legacy income, a rise of 10.3 per cent on 2015.

The sums came from almost the same number of bequests as in 2015, down by 0.8 per cent to 52,300 in 2016.

Legacy Foresight, which publishes the figures, said the strong growth in income could be attributed to a higher than expected number of deaths and economic performance being better than had been feared.

It said that after a significant spike in deaths in the winter of 2014/15, numbers were expected to fall back in 2016, but they did not drop back as much as predicted.

The number of deaths in 2016 was 600,000, 9 per cent higher than at the start of the decade, said Legacy Foresight.

After the vote to leave the European Union in the summer, it said, most commentators feared a substantial fall in the UK economy, but house prices have grown by 2.5 per cent since then and UK share prices are 11 per cent up since July.

In August, Legacy Foresight downgraded its projections for legacy market growth over the next five years because of the economic uncertainty caused by the referendum result.

But it said today: "The buoyant economy is helping to drive up residual legacy values, which now stand at £58,400."

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