UK is among least generous legacy givers

Francois Le Goff

The UK is among the least generous countries in the world when it comes to leaving a legacy to good causes, a report has claimed.

Research from insurance company Axa revealed that only 8 per cent of Britons of working age and 9 per cent of retired people would leave part of their estates to charities.

Singapore comes top of a list of 15 countries surveyed, with 40 per cent of people saying they would make a legacy donation. The US and Hong Kong come second and third with 31 and 25 per cent respectively, leaving the UK near the bottom in 11th place.

Most people surveyed in the UK said they would first give to their children and relatives, and that giving to charity is one of their last priorities. "The UK has a great culture of home ownership," said Steve Muir, marketing manager at Axa. "There is a tradition of keeping property within the family.

"This is not to say Britons are not great at giving to charity, but that they are just not good at giving through this channel."

But Shirley Marsland from Will Aid, a legacy campaign run by nine charities including Action Aid and the British Red Cross, said this barrier could be overcome as people live longer.

"More people will realise that their children are older and wealthier and will therefore be more likely to make provision elsewhere," she said.

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