More will writers are prompting clients about legacy giving, research finds

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, says a small rise in the number of advisers making a 'charitable prompt' could lead to a big return for the sector

Legacy giving
Legacy giving

The proportion of solicitors and will writers telling their clients that they could leave money to charity in their will has risen by 14 percentage points between 2011 and 2012, according to new research.

Remember A Charity, a consortium of more than 140 charities working to encourage legacy giving, has published the findings, which are based on a survey of 230 professional will writers carried out in September.

The poll found that the number of will writers making the "charitable prompt" to clients has increased from 25 per cent in 2011 to 39 per cent this year.

It also shows that those advisers who talk about legacy giving have a higher proportion of clients that leave charitable bequests in their wills. Those who say they always make a charitable prompt write more than twice the number of charitable wills a year, compared with those who sometimes tell clients about legacy giving, the research shows.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: "This is fantastic news for legacy giving. We know that just a small change in behaviour among professional advisers could generate a very big return for charities.

"Our aim is to continue to build on this work and encourage more professional advisers to support our campaign."

He said the increase was down to the launch of its professional advisers scheme last year, which aimed to raise Remember A Charity’s profile among will writers and get them to mention legacy giving to clients.

Cope said the increase was not related to changes, introduced in April, that reduce the rate of inheritance tax if people leave 10 per cent of their estate to charity.

This is because the proportion of will writers who say they ‘always’ advise clients of the inheritance tax benefits of leaving money to charity has remained static at 36 per cent.

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