Growth in legacy income at lowest level since 2013

Figures from Legacy Foresight show that bequest income for 2015 was £1.29bn, a rise of 0.8 per cent on the previous year

Rate of growth of income from wills is slowing
Rate of growth of income from wills is slowing

Growth in charity legacy income has slowed to its lowest level since 2013, according to figures from Legacy Foresight.

The latest data from its Legacy Monitor programme, which gathers figures from 78 charities accounting for more than half the charity legacy market, shows that combined legacy income was £1.29bn in 2015, a rise of 0.8 per cent on the previous year.

Legacy Foresight said the low growth could be explained in several ways, including cooling house prices and falling share prices.

It said members of the legacy consortium received a relatively large number of high-value bequests in 2014, pushing up total income in that period so that, by contrast, income in 2015 was relatively low.

But Legacy Foresight said the low level of growth was likely to be temporary. 

Meg Abdy, director of Legacy Foresight, said there were "several reasons to be cheerful", because house price growth was not expected to slow any further this year and share prices were expected to improve.

She said a surge in the death rate in winter 2014/15 had led to a significant rise in legacy notifications last summer, which were expected to pay out over the next 12 months and would boost overall income. 

Of the 52,100 legacy notifications received by the 78 member charities, the average pecuniary value was £3,600, which Legacy Foresight said was relatively unchanged since 2011.

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