Charitable legacies to grow by almost a quarter over the next decade, estimates show

The number of annual legacy donations to charity will grow by almost a quarter over the 10 years in the UK, according to new predictions. 

Figures from the legacy data company Legacy Foresight show that the number of charitable bequests will rise from 118,000 last year to 145,000 by 2029, an increase of 23 per cent. 

The company said the rise in charitable gifts would be fuelled by a “rapidly rising death rate and the growing interest in leaving a gift in a will”. 

Legacy Foresight estimated that charity legacy income would grow by 37 per cent in current prices to reach £4.7bn in 2029. 

This would represent real terms growth of 16 per cent, it said. 

It said income growth over the next 10 years would be primarily driven by the number of gifts received, in contrast to the past 30 years when much growth was down to the buoyant economy. 

Meg Abdy, development director at Legacy Foresight, said: “Over the past three decades legacy incomes have grown sixfold; and after taking inflation into account, incomes have trebled in real terms. 

“That growth trajectory is likely to continue; we expect legacy incomes to double in real terms over the next thirty years.”

She said legacy incomes would hold up during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The number of gifts you receive, and in many cases their value, is not a reflection of donors’ current desire or capacity to give but is determined by supporter relationships forged over many years.”

Legacy Foresight operates the Legacy Monitor benchmarking service, which involves 82 of the largest charities who account for about half of the UK charity legacy market. 

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