The average value of legacies left to charity fell by 6.3 per cent in the 12 months to June, figures from research programme Legacy Foresight have shown.
The legacies left to the 38 charities that take part in the programme fell to an average of £52,500.
However, a 4.3 per cent surge in the number of legacies left to them meant total legacy income across the participating organisations fell by only 2.3 per cent on the previous 12 months, to £859m.
Meg Abdy, project manager of Legacy Foresight, said there had been a step change in the number of people leaving money to charity in their wills since autumn 2007.
"The number of legacies received by our members is now 9 per cent higher than they were two years ago," she said.
Improved campaigning could have played a part in the increase in legacy notifications, she said.