Legacy income up by 4.6 per cent in first quarter of 2018

According to the Legacy Monitor Consortium, its 83 charity members received about £1.5bn in legacies in the first three months of the year, compared with £1.43bn in the first quarter of 2017

Legacy income for charities grew by 4.6 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2018, according to figures released this week.

The Legacy Monitor Consortium, which has 83 charity members that together account for 51 per cent of the legacy market, received about £1.5bn in legacies during the first three months of this year, compared with about £1.43bn in the same period last year.

But the figures show that although the rate of growth was above inflation, it was slowing.

Quarterly growth was 5.1 per cent in the last three months of 2017.

The total number of bequests made to the consortium in the year to March 2018 fell by 1.2 per cent in the same period last year to 52,981.

Legacy Foresight, which publishes the figures, attributed the slowdown to the UK economy's weaker-than-expected 0.1 per cent growth in the first quarter of this year.

"The subdued economy is likely to have a continued impact on both house prices and share prices," Legacy Foresight's latest bulletin says.

House prices and share prices affect the residual value of bequests – gifts left in estates when all other bequests have been paid and debts cleared.

"Over the past 12 months, average residual values were £59,700, compared to the £60,600 reported three months ago," says the bulletin.

However, the average value of cash gifts in the first quarter of this year increased to £4,150 – just above the previous high of £4,100 in the third quarter of 2016.

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