Legacy income increased by 3.8 per cent last year, figures show

The latest data from the Legacy Monitor Consortium shows the income of its members from gifts in wills was £1.11bn in the year to December 2013

Writing a will
Writing a will

Charity income from gifts in wills grew by 3.8 per cent in the year to December 2013, according to the latest figures from Legacy Foresight.

Data from the Legacy Monitor Consortium, which accounts for more than half of the UK charity legacy market, shows that the combined legacy income of its members was £1.11bn at the end of 2013, compared with £1.07bn in the previous year.

The consortium has accepted seven new members this year, taking the total to 67 charities.

The data shows that average residual values have held steady at £53,600, which is a little above the previous market peak of £53,400 in the year to June 2008.

Residual value is the remainder of the estate left after bequests and specific legacies have been distributed and all debts cleared.

But Legacy Foresight said the £53,600 figure was misleading because recent inflation rates of between 3 per cent and 5 per cent meant the real value of residuals was "still considerably lower than in 2008".

The average pecuniary or cash legacy made to charities was worth £3,400.

The data showed that cash legacies have dropped slowly over the past six quarters from a peak of £3,700 in the first quarter of 2012, after six years of steady growth.

"We believe that this is fallout from the recession, when apprehensive legators wrote smaller cash gifts into their wills," the latest report says.

Overall, cash legacies account for 8 per cent of all legacy income, while residual legacies represent almost 87 per cent.

Ian Griggs recommends

Legacy Foresight

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